Orange Centrelink, Medicare offices affected by strike action by CPSU

Orange residents needing to call on Centrelink and Medicare may be better off waiting or using online tools, due to a strike.

Members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) are undertaking planned industrial action on Friday, March 17.

The CPSU will stage rolling strikes will begin from 1.30pm for several hours.

It means clients heading to Orange’s Centrelink and Medicare office may face further delays and calls to the department are likely to experience longer waiting times.

A CPSU spokesman said the industrial action is over maintaining flexibility of working hours for staff from the Department of Human Services.

“The majority of workers are female, part-time and are trying to fit work in with raising their family,” he said.

“They don’t want to have less control over their hours they work.”

The spokesman said while staff had not received a pay rise in more than three years, it was secondary to being able to arrange rosters to balance work and family.

The Department of Human Services spokesman Hank Jongen asked the community for patience as Centrelink and Medicare worked to minimise disruption.

“I can reassure people that ongoing customer payments will not be affected by the industrial action,” Mr Jongen said. 

“It is possible however that there will be a reduced number of staff in our service centres and on the phones.

“I recommend people access self-service options available through myGov and the Centrelink, Medicare and child support mobile apps.”

To access Centrelink and Medicare’s online services visit www.humanservices.gov.au/selfservice.

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