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McGowan announces public sector renewal

This morning the Premier made some major announcements about the future of the West Australian Public Sector.

Some of these changes were flagged by WA Labor as part of the election campaign in late December of last year.

It is acknowledged that the Barnett Government did not manage the sector well and the financial situation for the state is not good.  The McGowan Government now has an opportunity to ensure that their reform gets good outcomes for all West Australians. The waste of the Barnett years must end and we are keen to work with the Government to end the wasteful contracting out of public services.

Last night the Premier met with the CPSU/CSA and other Unions and the changes announced this morning were discussed along with the Services Priority Review, Commission of Inquiry and other initiatives the form part of the McGowan Government’s public sector reform package.

While the announcements made today will dramatically alter the public sector with opportunities for us to significantly influence the process in order to achieve a better public sector for WA and a better work life for members.

We continue to be at the table to minimise the impact of the amalgamations and we are interested in your views about how the pros and cons of that element of the announcement today. Let us know what you think will work and what won’t at [email protected]

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There will be a reduction in Senior Executive Service positions, and we never want to see job losses.  However the package of reforms includes initiatives to address the wasteful practice of contracting out and privatising government services and we will engage in the amalgamation process to advocate for the interests of our members, good policy outcomes and redirection of resources to functional areas of departments.

The Service Priority Review will be headed by Michelle Andrews from the Department of Mines and Petroleum.  This review is expected to directly seek information from public sector staff. We have long maintained that our members want to make the sector more efficient and productive and this is our opportunity to ensure that this happens.

The Commission of Inquiry will address the contracting out and decisions of the former Government that created waste. The Review will be conducted by a panel of three people from outside of the sector. The Commission of Inquiry will be a Special Inquiry conducted under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 and will consider bringing public services back in house.

The Premier has also indicated that there will be working groups tasked with the following: 

  • Ways of delivering services more efficiently and effectively in regional and metropolitan sub regional areas;
  • Possible workforce measures that deliver greater flexibility, efficiency and renewal in the management of the public sector workforce; and
  • Opportunities to reduce internal red tape, waste and inefficiency in the sector

We now have a real opportunity to engage with this government who have so far sought to have a genuine conversation with unions about the future of the public sector.

The bottom line is, regardless of which party is in government, we will hold them to their promises.  Our focus will be to advocate for our members’ interests, stop arbitrary cuts to the sector and restore job security.

We will continue to work with this government in the interests of all West Australians, but we aren’t shy of making hard decisions with you to ensure the best outcomes for members and the public sector. 

OUR MEDIA STATEMENT

CPSU/CSA Secretary Toni Walkington:

“Our members will have a mixed response to today’s announcement which was flagged back in December 2016.

“We acknowledge that the Barnett Government did not manage the sector well and the McGowan Government has an opportunity to ensure that reform gets good outcomes for all West Australians.

“Our members believe that there was waste in the Barnett years and are keen to engage in ending the wasteful contracting out of public services.

“There are a number of Departments where our members experienced job cuts while the executive flourished and this is an opportunity redirect the work to public services.

“Whilst there will be a reduction in the Senior Executive Service and we never want to see job losses, this is part of a package of reform that will address the wasteful practice of contracting out and privatising government services. Our members are prepared to work and engage in this process for good policy outcomes, on the basis that the other areas of waste will be addressed too.

“The General Government Sector has performed in terms of efficiency and is working effectively. The most recent Treasury update indicates that the General Government Sector has grown at just 11% in three years while health has grown at 56% and Education at 17%.

“We continue to be at the table to minimise the impact of the amalgamations and advocate in our member’s interest and for good government.”

For coverage from today's press conference see evening news from: ABC News, 7 News, Nine News, TEN News, SKY News.

Read the Premier's media statement here.

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