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Public Sector Union Has Warned The New Government (Read 156 times)
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Australian Politics

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Public Sector Union Has Warned The New Government
May 22nd, 2019 at 12:31pm

Union says no mandate for public service cuts   
Canberra Times
May 22 2019

The main public sector union has warned the new government away from cutting jobs in the public sector after the Coalition's shock election win, saying there is no mandate for further change.

National secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union Nadine Flood said the government didn't put any policies pledging to cut jobs during the campaign.

"Prime Minister Morrison and his team did not talk about cutting public service jobs or attacking workers' rights in this election campaign, they did not put industrial relations policy to the electorate," she said.

"The only thing they put out on public services was putting an efficiency dividend, one day from the end of the campaign, where there was no time for anyone in electorates to even know about it so you can't say that they have a mandate for further attacks on the public service or the people who work in it."

The union is concerned the continuation of a 2 per cent efficiency dividend announced last Thursday, less than 48 hours before voters went to the polls, will result in the loss of up to 3000 jobs across the public service.   Shocked 

"What some of the previous research on the efficiency dividend shows, which is pretty logical when you think about it, is that service delivery and front line agencies tend to be hit harder than departments that have a range of policy programs and perhaps a bit more room to move in terms of their funding sources."

When the efficiency dividend was announced, government ministers denied it would result in job losses, saying departmental secretaries could choose to find savings elsewhere.

"It beggars belief that the Coalition can go out into regional communities saying 'yes we really understand how important jobs are to you' and not mentioning that they're actually going to cut their own jobs in those communities. That is not something they have a mandate to do and it is something we're prepared to take on," Ms Flood said.

The $1.5 billion cut was also announced after it was revealed the Department of Home Affairs was banking on a $150 million saving on wages over the next two years, a reduction the union fears could lead to the loss of up to 2000 jobs. 

Ms Flood warns that more government programs could fail to serve the public if the approach taken over the last six years was to continue.

"One of the key reasons why the Coalition government has gone from disaster to disaster is actually the scorched earth approach they've taken to the public sector. The Coalition has shot itself in the foot time after time by slashing jobs, turning critical work over to private companies, seeing disasters like robodebt, census fail and so on and so on.   Sad
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