Our hardworking, weather-scrying mates at the Bureau of Meteorology are on strike, and they’ve been getting their message out in a number of unusual ways.
First we’ve got the hashtags and petitions appended to weather forecast tweets like this one:
— Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria (@BOM_Vic) June 5, 2018
Then there are the newscasters reading out statements informing the public of the BoM‘s industrial action, which has been ongoing since Wednesday.
But perhaps best of all is the communication of secret messages via the time-honoured tradition of acrostics:
Spot it? Those clever meteorologists – do their talents know no bounds?!
As you may have gathered, BoM employees are on strike to protest a five-year wage freeze that’s about to be implemented, after trade negotiations between management and the Community and Public Sector Union broke down.
CPSU deputy secretary Beth Vincent-Pietsch told reporters:
The public deserve to know why the hardworking employees of the Bureau — the people who bring them vital weather information every day — have been forced to endure a wage freeze for nearly five years, simply because they refuse to sacrifice working conditions.
Our members do this work because they know it is a valuable community service, but five years without a pay rise while their cost of living continues to climb is hurting them and their families.
After three votes that overwhelmingly rejected management’s substandard offers and a refusal by management to take part in a conciliation process through the Fair Work Commission, our members have been left with no choice but to seek public support to resolve this protracted industrial dispute.
Vincent-Pietsch says that the union and BoM management have been locked in a stalemate over a new workplace agreement since the old one expired in 2014.
And while BoM employees have undertaken legal industrial action in the form of their hashtags and clever poetry exercises, management has responded in a particularly unflattering way: by attempting to gag them.
Staff have now been banned from doing certain live radio crosses, and all social media updates have to be vetted by supervisors before posting.
Disappointing news for all of us who were looking forward to spotting further hidden messages – and even more disappointing for the workers trying to negotiate living wages. Let’s hope the outlook gets a little less gloomy soon.
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