Communist Party of Australia

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Issue #1605      August 7, 2013

Union slams ALP plan to cut 5000 public sector jobs

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has condemned federal government plans announced last week to increase the “efficiency dividend” imposed on federal government agencies from 1.25% to 2.25% for three years from 2014/15.

According to the CPSU the $1.8 billion cut could lead to over 5,000* job losses and put further pressure on public services already suffering from previous cuts.

The CPSU Executive met and decided to suspend all federal election campaigning ahead of a crisis meeting on August 5.

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said; “The CPSU totally opposes this decision. It’s bad for public sector workers and it’s bad for the eight million Australians who rely on the services they deliver.

“Years of cuts like this have done major damage to services and lead to massive backlogs such as 425,000 unprocessed Centrelink debts. The Department of Human Services has lost close to 4,000 jobs since 2011 while the demand for services has increased. For the government to claim these cuts will improve services and productivity is frankly insulting to staff.

“We are calling on the government to reconsider this awful decision.

“What politicians forget is that public sector workers are real people with families, mortgages and bills. If any other industry announced it was cutting thousands of jobs there would be a national outcry. Yet our politicians seem to be engaged in a perverse bidding war to see who can cut the deepest.

“The Coalition’s plan to cut 12,000 to 20,000 public sector jobs may be worse, but that’s little consolation for public sector workers who expect the ALP to provide a positive alternative to the Liberals ‘slash and burn’. This decision is a slap in the face,” said Ms Flood.

*Based on Federal Budget figures and average Australian Public Service salaries and on-costs.   

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