Centrelink and the airport are the last places you should be tomorrow 7



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If you need to speak to Centrelink, tomorrow probably isn’t the best time to do.

Nor is it the best time to be flying either.


Well, it turns out thousands of Centrelink staff and a few Immigration and Border Force workers are set to strike tomorrow as part of a more than three-year dispute over pay and working conditions with the Federal Government.

Centrelink is advising people to stay away from customer service centres and telephone lines, while the Immigration Department is warning of possible disruptions at international airports.

Don’t panic if you get paid on a Friday though, your payment is not likely to be affected.

The Department of Human Services media manager Hank Jongen told the Canberra Times he blamed the Community and Public Sector Union for the disruptions.

He said he was concerned the “counterproductive” industrial action would “inconvenience people across Australia”.


“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,” he 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.”


Meanwhile, over at the airports the strike is likely to be less disruptive.

While only a few staff are expected to strike, the Department of Immigration is urging people flying internationally to arrive at the airport early to avoid delays.

In New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory, the strikes will take place from 8.30am to 11.30am, while the strike will impact people in the ACT from 11.30am to 2.30pm.

The strikes will also see workers walk off the job at seaports, visa processing, and international mail facilities.

Does the strike inconvenience your Friday plans? What do you think about this?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. The wait at a Centrelink office or on the phone is horrendous at any time. My brother and I waited 45 minutes at the Parramatta office yesterday just so he could hand in some documents.
    Also the phone enquiries usually take a minimum of 40 minutes on hold.
    If the understaffing is worsened tomorrow I’d need to find a word worse than horrendous to describe it. The actual staff working in Centrelink offices are doing a great job under extremely difficult conditions.

    2 REPLY
    • Yes they are. They do the very best that they can but they are hamstrung in too many ways.

    • I wonder if I called from my neighbours phone, its a 1902 number, she charges 49c per minute for psychic readings. I could make a fortune. I use to wonder why they named Centrelink after a brothel, but now I get it. It’s where you go to get… well, you know. I’ve been told by a few friends who have worked at Centrelink how bad the work environment is. Clients being double booked for an appointment and breached for missing one. Clients waiting in line for hours for cancelled appointments. Lost files. Inexperienced staff. Lost staff. The horrors of the cynically named job network that only networks with itself. Job network providers that don’t provide anything. Work for the dole that doesn’t. Regular dole bludger crackdowns that involve doing what they are already doing, then fiddling the stats to make it look like they achieved something. I think we get a better deal from the brothel, at least it provides a few jobs.

  2. This country is stuffed…can someone Pollie prove me wrong

  3. They are only getting paid to psychologically and verbally abuse genuine people who are sick and not able to work. I get spoken to like I have the plague, it is so dehumanising. There was a time, when society and employment agencies did their best to help, the poor, disadvantaged and people who were alone and socially disadvantaged. These days, even people with cancer and still having treatment are sent out to work 25 hrs a week and look for a ridiculous amount of jobs while suicide and mental health problems have exploded.
    Why should they get more money, just to verbally abuse, humiliate, and denigrate people who find themselves in this situation, through no fault of their own ability.
    What an absolute disgrace, that these people are actually trained and paid to inflict suffering on an extreme psychological level when intelligent people know and can interpret that taking away hope from people and destroying their self-worth and leaving them open to further suffering and homeless is simple costing the government more to sustain a broken system that operates on violating humanity…and I experience this every second week and I am sick of being humiliated at the age of 58.

    1 REPLY
    • I have had a similar experience. Unable to walk requiring urgent hip surgery with only $9 in the bank they treated me with inmost contempt. I never go there now. I consider that the Frankston Centrelink office is a distribution centre for mental health disease just as you describe.

  4. So very sad im 48 single mum . Lost my job 4 weeks ago throgh no fault of my own. Am still waiting for first payment. Centrelink staff have been rude one even said well you shouldnt have lost your job. Ive worked all my life and get treated like a dole bludger for a lousey 520 a fortnight. Doesnt even pay my rent.
    Its a very sad Australia we live in at the present time.

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