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Centrelink staff to strike amid debt-recovery controversy

6 February 2017
Henry Belot
ABC News

Centrelink workers tasked with enforcing the Government's controversial debt-recovery program will launch two weeks of rolling industrial action from February 13.

The ABC understands the strike action is expected to result in delays at Centrelink offices and call centres across Australia, but those working on robot-debt calls will be exempt.

The industrial action coincides with calls from the Greens and Labor to establish a Senate inquiry into the controversial scheme, which has incorrectly told thousands of Australians they need to repay money.

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Centrelink staff who join the industrial action will also provide welfare recipients with a written statement outlining their concerns about the program and the Government's bargaining position.

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The strike action will be led by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), which has overseen years of industrial action across the public service amid a two-year deadlock on pay and conditions.

Similar strike action was launched by the union in December although customer payments were not impacted.

The Department of Human Services, which manages the Centrelink and Medicare programs, was informed of the strike action on Friday.

The CPSU and some federal politicians have raised concerns about the treatment of Centrelink workers since December, with the public becoming increasingly frustrated.

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The strikes be held on February 13, 15, 17, 20, 22 and 24.

The Department of Human Services has been contacted for comment.