The Guardian • Issue #2074

Public Service Union leadership to face challenge from Members United

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2074
Five of the six Executive Committee candidates.

Five of the six Executive Committee candidates.

On 7th October, dozens of Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members convened in Canberra for the formal launch of the Members United Team. Formed out of the Democracy4CPSU caucus, which has been leading the fight against the below inflation pay offer handed down by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC), Members United will be the first ticket to contest positions on the CPSU’s executive since 2005. Members United is composed of a full slate of Executive Committee nominations and candidates contesting positions on the CPSU’s Governing and Section Councils. Members United is rank-and-file, non-partisan, unaffiliated and democratic, with CPA, Greens, and ALP representation, amongst others, across the ballot.

Key initiatives include a member plebiscite on ALP affiliation, increasing membership density across the union, increasing the number of directly elected paid positions, and working with other unions to improve industrial conditions and rights for workers across the country.

William Mudford, candidate for National Secretary, was quoted as saying “There has been a comprehensive failure in strategy in both ACT government and APS-wide bargaining. This has left members with below-inflation pay offers. That’s unacceptable. If it were up to us, the CPSU would have organised member-led APS-wide industrial action a lot sooner.”

“The current CPSU Executive has very little, if any, experience as public servants. All our candidates come from current membership coverage areas, not CPSU staff roles. That gives us the experience and fresh perspective to change the union for the better.”

“At a time of crisis, the whole country looked to the public service. During bushfires and the pandemic, we stepped up to deliver essential emergency and public health responses. We delivered livable incomes to those who were out of work and stabilised our economy. The thanks we get is to see our standard of living decline.

“We have real power – but need a serious industrial strategy to win. Australia relies on our work. Instead of delaying escalation to poll the membership for weeks and then ignoring the majority result, we would have gone straight to protected action ballots across the whole APS to escalate our action – satisfying the conditions for democratic endorsement by members, while getting on the front foot.”

Members United will be undertaking a range of election activities over the coming weeks in most major cities. The ballot will open on Wednesday, 1st November 2023, closing early the following month.

CPA Canberra Branch (for more information on the campaign, visit

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