CPSU members in my Department's local offices have engaged in industrial action since 18 March 2003.
Initially the action taken was a ban on telephone/fax queries and since 25 March this escalated to include the non-performance of counter duties in the afternoons. The CPSU had divided the country into four regions and the industrial action was to rotate between the regions on a weekly basis. As the action taken constituted a refusal to perform their core duties, my Department had no option but to remove staff from the payroll in the region undertaking the action.
To date, 224 CPSU members have been removed from the payroll. The decision to remove staff from the payroll was not taken lightly. The union members had decided not to perform normal duties arising from telephone calls and faxes and duties at reception desks. The services provided from our local offices are essential to the farming community, in particular in the context of cattle movements to factories and marts as well as the various direct payments to farmers.