Medicare, Child Support and Centrelink services will be disrupted today, when public servants walk off the job.
The industrial action is being held to draw attention to three years of waiting for a pay rise.
The Department of Human Services is encouraging residents to put off any non-urgent business on Monday and Friday afternoons due to industrial action by the Community and Public Sector Union.
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The union has flagged further industrial action the following week, although detail of this action has yet to be formally provided to the department.
General Manager Hank Jongen said customer payments will not be affected.
“We are focused on making sure staff are available to help people who are in financial hardship and need immediate assistance,” Mr Jongen said.
“So we’re asking customers with non-urgent business to consider contacting the department at another time.”
Customers are also encouraged to use online services through their myGov account, or the ExpressPlus Apps.
“Our online services and ExpressPlus apps are really well used, and make it easy for people to do many things without the need to contact us,” Mr Jongen said.
The Express Plus suite of mobile apps are for Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support, and are free to download for customers using Apple, Android or selected Windows 10 devices (only for the Medicare app).
“Through all these apps, you can update your contact details and access your online letters. Each app is also tailored to specific needs,” Mr Jongen said.
“For example, you can make a claim through the Medicare app and report your income through the Centrelink app.”
“We appreciate the community’s patience during this time and I reassure you we are working hard to minimise disruption to the services they need,” Mr Jongen said.
We will provide as much notice as possible of any service disruptions, and encourage people to regularly check humanservices.gov.au/servicechanges for updates.