Barnett Government continues to undermine WA’s public services with latest job cuts announcement

In flagging another 400 public service job redundancies the Barnett Government is again demonstrating its contempt for the people who provide WA’s essential public services and the people of WA who depend on them.

“Not only is the Barnett Government looking to bring in WorkChoices-style changes for people in the WA public sector, they’re now shedding important public sector jobs at a time when WA’s economy is booming and the population is growing,” said UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk.

“Furthermore, the supposed ‘savings’ referred to by the Government as a result of these job cuts are a falsehood.  The claimed savings the Government says will result from its newest round of voluntary redundancies in the WA public sector are an impossibility. They are simply moving costs from one area to another in an attempt to look economically prudent. Unfortunately, when the magical money merry go-around stops, people in WA are left with poorer public services and higher bills.”

According to the CPSU/CSA (Community & Public Sector Union / Civil Service Association) the people taking up these voluntary redundancies will almost entirely be people set to retire soon or those who have been offered, or who are looking to move into, jobs in the private sector. The voluntary severance may bring results in these people bringing forward their resignation however the Government is now paying for the time in between jobs or for early retirement.

The State Government intends to cover the gaps by contracting services out to non-profit and private companies. This allows them to claim savings in one area as expenses are hidden in another. The impact of this is that public service levels are compromised.

“A telling example of the Government’s contempt for WA’s public services and false claims of cost savings is the job cuts in the Department of Agriculture. These job cuts led to programs such as the European House Borer Eradication program being axed. Local Government has now been forced to take on this work which will result in costs being passed on to people through rates increases,” says CPSU/CSA Secretary Toni Walkington.

“Western Australia is a wealthy State and people have a right to expect high quality public services. This becomes harder and harder to provide when the Government is cutting staffing levels and undermining the conditions of public sector workers,” said Ms Walkington.

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