Employees at the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) have opted to strike.

The industrial action comes in response to a pay offer deadlock involving Katy Gallagher and the Australian Public Service Commission. 

Represented by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), DEWR staff have exhibited strong support for the action, with an 87 per cent turnout.

The vote enabled various strike options: 74.8 per cent approved one-hour stoppages, while 70.19 per cent endorsed stoppages lasting up to 24 hours. 

The vote also permitted rolling, consecutive stoppages. 

The widespread participation in the vote indicated a sense of urgency among the DEWR workforce.

This move follows a similar victory by the CPSU at the Fair Work Ombudsman, where staff voted to strike over pay issues. 

The CPSU is also planning to seek a protected action ballot at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The DEWR situation underscores broader challenges in public service employment, particularly in recruiting and retaining permanent staff due to relatively low pay rates. 

The Australian government's offer of an 11.2 per cent pay increase over three years has faced rejection by multiple unions involved in the negotiations.

While the government has highlighted the minority opposition to the offer, the majority of unions involved have rejected it. 

The situation has led to growing industrial actions in various government agencies, raising concerns about the effectiveness of public service operations.

The strike actions may become more coordinated as the Australian Labor Party's industrial wing pushes for the political wing to fulfil its commitments.