Barnett Government is undermining public sector productivity
The Barnett Government needs to reconsider its approach to the public sector and the services it delivers to the community, according to the Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association.
Key report recommendations
* Encourage efficiency and productivity innovation through recruiting and retaining skilled staff and encouraging their input.
* Reduce the loss of corporate knowledge and essential skills by improving recruitment and retention.
* Protect regional services by eliminating disparity in wages or other conditions.
* Raise public sector productivity by targeting factors that are detrimental to employee engagement.
Branch secretary Toni Walkington made the comment following the release of the ‘Death by a Thousand Cuts’ report released by the Centre for Policy Development in Sydney that reviews how governments undermine their own productivity.
“This is another independent report that says the whole process of cutting funding is ill-advised,” Ms Walkington said.
The report said governments were adopting an irresponsible approach to budget savings.
“The cutbacks drive a reduction in workforce capability and erode public sector productivity and responsibility,” Ms Walkington.
“Cutbacks also undermine public trust and confidence in government institutions and instead of driving efficiency it reduces services.”
Ms Walkington said the community wanted and expected a high-performing public sector and the 32-page document showed how it could be achieved including improving recruitment and retention, protecting regional services as well as encouraging staff input.
“We call on the Barnett Government to reconsider its approach to the public sector and the services it delivers so that greater productivity can be achieved.
“Cutting back on essential services is a bad decision and once again shows that the government has got its priorities wrong.
“The community wants quality public services, not inferior privatised services.”
Between 2010 and 2012 the public sector permanent and fixed-term workforce contracted by nearly 6000 people.
There has been 27% increase in the rate of public servants leaving their agencies and one survey found that 71 per cent of public servants who had 15 years or more experience planned on retiring in less than 10 years.
Ms Walkington said this meant the public service would lose a lot of its capability.
“The government needs to recognise this mass exodus, on top of voluntary and forced redundancies, would provide major challenges for the public sector’s ability to meet demand.”
# The report was written by Centre for Policy Development (CPD) public service research director Christopher Stone and industrial relations policy expert Kathy MacDermott. Electronic copies of the report are available.
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