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MEDIA: Pathway to Permanency Welcomed

The Community Public Sector Union and Civil Service Association has welcomed today’s announcement by Premier Mark McGowan of a formal process to stop the spread of insecure work in the public sector.

For years, the CPSU/CSA and other unions covering the 140,000 public sector workers across WA have been campaigning to stop the growing trend of insecure work that leave workers and the economy worse off.

A pathway to permanency will help ensure WA’s capable public servants are able to access reliable work, a regular salary and fair working conditions.

Research published by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work in June revealed that in 2017, for the first time since Australia’s employment statistics have been collected, the proportion of employed Australians filling a permanent job fell below 50 percent.

This is not news to the CPSU/CSA, whose members advise them that talented staff have left the public sector because they are frustrated by being left in limbo on rolling fixed term contracts.

For some workers, these contracts can be an employment period of just one month at a time, or a staggering 13 contracts in a row over many years.

In some cases, workers on rolling contracts have even accrued long service leave without the ongoing nature of their work being acknowledged with a fair and secure employment arrangement.

CPSU/CSA Assistant Branch Secretary Rikki Hendon said campaigning for secure work had been a key theme of the Union’s efforts over recent years.

“We have seen the inappropriate use of rolling fixed term contracts and casual employment rise exponentially in the WA public sector over the past decade.

“Insecure work makes it difficult to buy a home, take leave and plan for the future. It also makes it harder for agencies to retain organisational knowledge and deliver quality public services.

“Our members who are trapped in insecure work deliver a range of vital services for WA, such as protecting vulnerable Western Australian families and children, supporting the TAFE system, or planning state-changing infrastructure.

“We are pleased that the McGowan Government has listened to us, has listened to our members and is delivering on its election commitment to bring fair, decent work back to people who deliver our public services.

“Creating a pathway to permanency will genuinely change lives for the better, and enable the public sector to retain talented staff, who are too valuable to lose.” 

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