The last word: get the full picture before you vote.
It’s been a big week for public sector announcements in the lead up to the State election. Here’s the wash up:
WA Liberal Party
On Wednesday, the Liberal Party’s costings were released by Treasury. The documents uncovered the Liberals plan to cut 2000 experienced public servants and replace them with 1000 lower paid graduates. Replacing 2,000 experienced public sector staff with 1,000 new graduates on less money, doing double the work will dramatically weaken the public sector, which is already struggling after years of cuts, privatisation and recruitment freezes.
The savings made from the loss of the 2000 jobs was estimated to save almost the same amount that the Liberal Party plan to spend on consultants to sell public assets like Western Power. Cutting 2000 West Australian public sector jobs to pay for consultants to sell public assets is a sop to the big end of town at the expense of our members delivering valued public services to West Australians.
Including the revelation from the costings, so far this election the Liberals have announced three policies that relate to the public sector:
- There will be more privatisations of public services;
- 100 hot desks will be installed for public sector workers; and
- 2000 jobs are to go, replaced by 1000 graduates doing twice the work for less money.
Importantly, the Liberal Party have not released a public sector policy.
WA Labor Party
On Thursday Labor revealed their plan to get the WA budget back to surplus across the forward estimates. That plan includes a $750 million cut to public sector expenditure.
In December 2016, WA Labor announced their intention to conduct a Service Priority Review, though they did not announce at that time how much money they expected to save as part of that measure.
The $750 million figure is a concern. We have engaged with WA Labor on this issue and we can advise that they expect the savings to be achieved through a process of agency amalgamation, reduction in the numbers of Senior Executive Service positions and a focus on realising economies of scale in public sector administration by reducing bureaucracy and red tape.
WA Labor has assured us that there will be no forced redundancies and that decisions will be targeted and transparent. It’s a marked difference in communication from the Liberal Party and we will continue to engage with WA Labor in the interests of our members should they be elected. WA Labor recognises the CPSU/CSA as a stakeholder and has given an undertaking on consultation.
Including their costings announcement, WA Labor have also released three:policies related to the sector across the campaign:
1. A Public Sector Policy responding to Your Union Agreement claim that commits to “providing real improvements to essential services and recognise that this cannot be achieved without an effective, functional and well-resourced public sector.” This includes announcements about
a. Fixed Term Contracts being converted to permanency;
b. Stopping the privatisation of public services;
c. Stopping the overuse of labour hire;
d. The provision of 10 days family and domestic violence leave
2. The Delivering Real Outcomes policy
a. 20 Cross Government Key Performance Indicators linked to 20% of Department Head salaries;
b. 20 reduction in the number of Departments; and
c. 20 reduction in the Senior Executive Service.
3. Service Priority Review to make
$750 million savings across the forward estimates.
The Greens have engaged with the Union and its members supportively across the election campaign. Greens candidates have accepted the claim and consistently indicated their support for public sector workers. The Greens do not have a policy that directly relates to the public sector.
The Nationals WA
The Nationals were slow to get a conversation started but in the last week we have caught up with Brendon Grylls who indicated his support for our regional members. In addition the Nationals WA have been in touch to let us know that following the election, whether they are in government or not, the leader of the Nationals and the Nationals President will be happy to sit down and have a discussion about job security, cuts and privatisation.