Bureau of Meteorology staff are involved in industrial action over a pay dispute, after not receiving a pay increase since their last agreement expired four years ago.
Community and Public Sector Union deputy secretary Beth Vincent-Pietsch said staff were trying to conduct their dispute without affecting the public.
“The industrial action being taken in Western Australia and elsewhere is designed to cause problems for management rather than unduly inconvenience the general public,” she said.
“All our members really want is to be able to keep the conditions they’ve got, but they continue to be under attack.
“[The Bureau] is targeting some of its harshest cuts at staff working shifts and in remote locations, so this dispute is especially important to the many communities in regional WA that are so reliant on local BOM staff during cyclones and other natural disasters.”
The industrial action includes rolling strikes – where staff will walk off the job at different times – as well as refusing to answer media inquiries or post updates to social media.
Staff will engage with the media in the case of life-threatening weather events, such as cyclones.
Ms Vincent-Pietsch said the bureau’s bosses had refused to listen to staff, despite the union putting sensible solutions on the table and engaging the Fair Work Commission to help break the deadlock
“[The Bureau] have spent more money on hiring a consultant to tell them what the rest of the organisation already knows. You can see why our members are frustrated,” she said.
“Industrial action is the best way for BOM staff to show this problem won’t go away until their bosses change tack.”
The Department of the Environment and Energy and the office of the Federal Treasurer were contacted for comment but did not respond by the time of publication.