ACT Public Prosecutors are set to start a historic vote against the ACT government tomorrow, asking their colleagues to support them in voting no to a bad Enterprise Agreement. The union representing ACT Public Prosecutors, paralegals and associates, the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) says that the ACT Government’s refusal to provide the Office of Public Prosecutions flexible working arrangements is resulting in the public losing highly skilled and committed prosecutors.
The workloads of staff at the Office of Public Prosecutions are enormous and as a result staff are in some cases only being paid for half the hours that they work.
Despite negotiating for over 12 months the Act Government is still refusing to provide Public prosecutors with sufficient conditions and arrangements. As a result, CPSU members covered by the ACT Government Legal Professionals Agreement will vote no against this substandard proposed agreement. This is the first time in 20 years that members will vote no.
CPSU Deputy National President, Brook Muscat-Bentley said, “Public Prosecutors are a vital part of our justice system, but currently it is a system that only functions if they work vast amounts of unpaid hours.”
“It is incomprehensible that the government is allowing their own staff to work, on occasion, almost double the hours they are paid. All our members in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions want is some form of recognition for the time they spend away from their family and friends while working to ensure our judicial system continues to deliver for the people of the ACT.”
The CPSU estimates that the DPP is currently understaffed by almost 600 hours per week. We are calling on the Government to adequately staff the DPP, and ensure these staff have access to the same provisions that the rest of the ACT public service do.”
“ACT Public Prosecutors will always put justice, victims, witnesses and the public before everything else, but the ACT Government must act to ensure staff have fair conditions to ensure the longevity of our judicial system. The ACT Government can no longer condemn wage theft on one hand while allowing this treatment of its own to continue. Our members are only seeking what is fair, and what their colleagues in the public service are currently entitled to.”