Healthcare organisations could be hit by DHS staff strike
There may be some disruption to Medicare services provided by the Department of Human Services (DHS) tomorrow as public sector workers take industrial action over a long-standing dispute with the federal government over its enterprise agreement policy.
DHS general manager Hank Jongen said Medicare customers may be affected by planned industrial action by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU).
“Customer payments will not be affected by the industrial action, however we may have reduced numbers of staff in service centres and on the phone, and increased wait times,” Mr Jongen said.
“We have put in place contingency arrangements to make sure staff are available to help people who are in financial hardship and need immediate assistance.
“However, we ask customers with non-urgent business to consider contacting the department another time to free up staff to help those who need it.”
Customers with non-urgent business are encouraged to use online services or the Express Plus apps, he said.
CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said the dispute had now stretched beyond 1000 days and was part of an agenda to undermine public services.
“The repercussions are becoming increasingly clear, with the Census debacle just the latest example of what happens when public institutions and the people who work in them are run down.” Ms Flood said.
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