Australian Public Servants Could Take Industrial Action Over A Request To Work An Extra 9 Minutes Each Day

ATO workers could take action over a request to work an extra nine minutes each day (Photo: Getty Images)

Employees at the Australian Tax Office could take industrial action over a proposal that would see them working an extra nine minutes each day, according to a union official.

The Canberra Times reports the ATO, the agency hit hardest by job cuts in the federal budget, will begin negotiations with staff on Monday, and it is expected they will be asked to work the extra minutes.

This, according to the report, would amount to:

  • An extra three hours at work each month
  • An extra 39 hours at work each year

The report quotes a union official, ASU tax branch secretary Jeff Lapidos, who says the negotiations, including the request, are expected to result in industrial action, however no official decision has been taken. Lapidos also described the proposal as “asking people to work another five and a third days a year”.

“We’re strongly opposed to the lengthening of the working day. I’m expecting we’ll take industrial action but that’s my prediction, we’ve made no decision,” Lapidos said in the report.

“Any industrial action will be designed to hurt the commissioner (Chris Jordan) and the government as much as we can.”

Geoscience Australia was the first federal agency to complete its negotiations, and its staff have agreed to work an extra nine minutes each day. Currently, according to the report, ATO staff knock off at 4.51pm, and work 36 hours and 45 minutes per week.

It’s the kind of decision that would look good on paper, though obviously it assumes workers are at their desks, typing away until the very last moment, which most people who work in a office will know isn’t the case.

There’s more here.

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