Centrelink workers set to strike for 24 hours

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Australian welfare recipients may notice a disruption to services after Services Australia staff announced they would soon be striking early next month.

The workers are expected to walk off the job on Monday, October 9, over a pay dispute.

The 24-hour strike may impact several government services including Centrelink and health insurance.

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However, Services Australia general manager Hank Jongen told 7NEWS.com.au it was “making preparations to minimise potential disruption to our customers”.

“We respect that lawful industrial action is part of the process for bargaining and we are working to identify possible numbers of participating staff,” he said.

“We want to reassure customers that payments will not be affected.

“Our priority remains ensuring that those most vulnerable or with urgent queries will get the support they need. “

It’s understood the online and self-services — including myGov, Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support online accounts and mobile apps — will not affected.

Services Australia staff are expected to walk off the job on Monday October 9, over a pay dispute.  Credit: AAP

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has told Services Australia that members of the agency which boasts over 32,000 employees will take industrial action over the pay dispute.

CPSU national secretary Melissa Donnelly said the government needs to honour its commitment to the public sector.

“The CPSU has rejected this offer because we know that we can and we should be aiming higher than 50 per cent, plus one,” Donnelly said.

“The Albanese Labor Government made a commitment to the public service before their election to become a model employer and to rebuild the APS (Australian Public Service) after a decade of damage and destruction.”

CPSU claims the latest offer from Services Australia of a 0.7 per cent increase on the proposed pay offer of 10.5 per cent over three years isn’t good enough.

“In an environment where every APS worker is feeling the extreme cost of living pressures, the current pay offer doesn’t cut it,” she said. “Our members are ready to increase pressure as needed to secure a better outcome on pay.”

The CPSU notified the Australian Public Service Commission on Wednesday that the union would not be taking up the pay offer.

Services Australia staff are expected to walk off the job on Monday October 9, over claims of a pay dispute.  Credit: AAP

Meanwhile, as of September 20, millions of Australian pensioners received a benefits increase offering some relief amid the mounting cost-of-living crisis hitting households across the country.

In the biggest boost ever, recipients of the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payments received an increase of $32.70 a fortnight for singles, taking their payments to $1096.70 a fortnight.

Meanwhile, couples saw a boost of $49 a fortnight, almost $1300 extra a year.

The rate for older Australians on JobSeeker increased to $802.50 per fortnight.

Australians on JobSeeker who don’t have any children saw their payments rise to about $749 a fortnight, up from just over $693.

The top-up is made up of a $40-per-fortnight increase previously revealed in the federal budget, plus an extra $16 increase as part of regular indexation.

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