Bureau of Meteorology satellite image of Australia.
Bureau of Meteorology satellite image of Australia. Contributed

STRIKE: BOM Staff continue to fight for a fair agreement

STAFF at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) are in their third week of striking as they fight to secure a fair enterprise agreement.

Workers say they had no choice as the Bureau executives continue to push harsh and unreasonable cuts to rights and conditions.

Duty forecaster for the BOM, Rob Taggart, said it is time they received a fair agreement that recognised the work they do.

"I am taking Protected Industrial Action in support of a fair enterprise agreement for all bureau workers because for the last three years the government has pursued a harsh bargaining agenda that strips rights and conditions,” Mr Taggart said.

"We need the bureau executive to drop their proposals for unfair cuts to our pay and conditions and attacks on front line staff working shifts in remote locations.”

The action applies restrictions on communicating with the media, however the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) said they have taken steps to ensure the bureau can continue to provide information for critical weather warnings.

"I do hasten to add that anything that is severe weather related we will talk to the media because it is important the public are informed,” Mr Taggart said.

CPSU deputy secretary, Beth Vincent-Pietsch, said BOM staff have gone well over three years without any pay rise while this dispute has dragged on.

"Despite such a long fight they've made it clear that what management's pushing is unacceptable by voting twice to reject unacceptable enterprise agreement proposals, most recently in May with a 58% No vote,” Ms Vincent-Pietsch said.

The industrial action began back on July 20, and still has no signs of stopping until all negotiations are resolved.

"CPSU members able to strike at times of their choosing within morning and afternoon windows. There will also be a range of work bans, including answering phones and dealing with media inquiries,” Ms Vincent-Pietsch said.

Mr Taggart said it "tears his heart” that it has come to this but he would not have done it unless he felt he had another option.

"It is not something we do lightly, I personally joined the bureau because I am passionate about providing high quality services to the public,” he said.

CPSU members in BOM will be legally protected to strike within set windows:

July 20 to July 26 7am-10:30am and 4pm-7pm.

July 27 to August 9 7am-10:30am and 3pm-6:30pm.

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