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Union plans 'war' on Baillieu

State public servants prepare wave of industrial action following collapse of pay negotiations.

State public servants prepare wave of industrial action following collapse of pay negotiations.

STATE public servants are preparing to unleash a wave of industrial action aimed at inflicting maximum pain on the Baillieu government - including the disruption of efforts to recruit extra police and armed guards - following the collapse of pay negotiations.

In a tacit acknowledgement that a deal cannot be salvaged, the industrial umpire has ordered a ballot involving 12,000 union members from 11 government departments.

The Fair Work Australia order details an extraordinary campaign by the Community and Public Sector Union, listing 63 separate actions designed to ''frustrate'' the government's ability to function.

As the union continued to map out its strategy last night, its headquarters were described as resembling a war room.

The campaign will involve bans on processing emails sent after midday, bans on answering phone calls before 9am and after 4.30pm, bans on processing non-criminal fingerprints by Department of Justice staff and restrictions on the number of child protection cases handled by staff at the Department of Human Services.

The 12,000 union members, representing the majority of government employees across the major departments, will also refuse to help ministerial offices answer letters, help with parliamentary question time briefings or collect statistics or information for government reports.

Ministerial drivers will refuse to pick up passengers before 8am, wash their vehicles or wait for longer than 30 minutes.

It is understood the plan to refuse to process non-criminal finger prints and a range of other measures are specifically aimed at derailing the government's efforts to conduct security

checks needed to deliver on a promise to recruit 1700 police officers and 940 protective services officers for train stations.

The union campaign is scheduled to begin in late October as the government attempts to finalise its legislative agenda for the year. The campaign is expected to be turned on and off ''for frustration purposes''.

Union state secretary Karen Batt said the government had been ''disingenuous and disorganised'' from the start, with 32,000 public sector workers from around the state affected.

''The order for an industrial action ballot was issued almost immediately by Fair Work Australia following our evidence about the nature of these negotiations,'' Ms Batt said. ''The action planned is widespread and comprehensive. Government should finally work out that their workforce is angry and they're in a fair dinkum blue.''

A spokesman for Attorney-General Robert Clark said the government expected that any action taken would not affect the delivery of essential services or community safety.

''If it proves otherwise, the government will apply immediately to Fair Work Australia for orders to bring such industrial action to an end,'' Mr Clark's spokesman said.

Among other actions planned by the union:

? Staff of the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation will be banned from collecting data to monitor Crown Casino.

?No infringement notices will be issued to taxi drivers except in emergencies.

?Sheriff's officers from the Department of Justice will refuse to use wheel clamps or issue driver licence or registration suspensions.

?Youth justice workers in the Department of Human Services will refer all cases to management once they have more 12 cases to deal with, while child protection workers will accept no more than 12 cases each.

The government is refusing to budge from a 2.5 per cent annual pay offer unless additional amounts are offset by ''bankable'' savings.

The union has demanded a 6 per cent annual pay rise for public servants, a 35-hour basic working week, six weeks' annual leave and a 1.75 percentage point increase to the superannuation guarantee.

As revealed by The Age, the government has costed the pay claim at $2.9 billion over four years. It says total demands from five key unions would be worth $21 billion over four years.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said Premier Ted Baillieu had broken a promise to negotiate in good faith. He said the Premier was arguing that hundreds of thousands of Victorians should get a pay rise below the rate of inflation despite running an election campaign focusing on cost-of-living pressures. ''I would have hoped that in the face of this very serious and unprecedented industrial action the Premier would realise he has this wrong.''


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