Barnett's latest cuts FAQ

Last Thursday, the WA State Government announced a number of serious changes which directly affect public sector workers in Western Australia.

In addition to the budget cuts, staffing ceilings, outsourcing and privatisation it has imposed on departments and agencies over the past few years, it is now clear that it intends to:

  • Cut 1200 full-time equivalent jobs from the public sector
  • Introduce forced redundancies for public sector workers 
  • Introduce agency salary caps · Limit public sector staff wage increases to CPI (currently 2.4%)
  • Limit the independence of the WA Industrial Relations Commission to determine fair wage outcomes for public sector workers.

The State Government is running services into the ground. Members are already telling us that they’re stretched thin, doing more with less to meet the increasing demands of the growing Western Australian population. Cutting back staff, diminishing job security and offering pay increases that don’t keep up with the real cost of living can only make it harder for you and members in your workplace to continue to deliver vital services to the community.


What do the state Liberal government’s recently announced changes mean for me, my members and the services we deliver?

  1. The state Liberal government wants to cut 1200 full-time equivalent jobs from the public sector.
    • At least 1200 people like you will be made redundant.
    • The State Government intends to use a combination of 1000 voluntary and 200 forced redundancies to make these cuts.
    • Government wants to change the Public Sector Management Act to make it easier to cut public sector jobs through forced redundancies.
    • With excessive workloads already negatively impacting the delivery of services to the community, these job cuts will place even greater pressure on in public services struggling to meet the increasing demands of WA's rapidly growing population.


  • Who will have to pick up the workloads of the redundant staff? YOU
  • Will this make it even harder for public services to meet the increasing demands of WA’s rapidly growing population? YES
  • If I put my hand up for a voluntary redundancy but don’t get it, could I be picked for a forced redundancy later? YES
  • Has government promised that only 200 of us will face forced redundancy, and that it will not use forced redundancy to implement even more severe job cuts in the future? NO 


  1. The Premier plans to limit public sector staff wage increases to CPI but has granted his staff huge wage rises of up to 52%.


  • What annual pay rise would we get at the current CPI? 2.4% (March)
  • What did Barnett's staff get? Between $15,000 - $84,000


  1. The Premier also plans to limit the independence of the WA Industrial Relations Commission, crippling the independent umpire for WA workers.


  • Does this reduce my rights under law? YES
  • Will this likely force workers to industrial action when we'd rather just negotiate? YES

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