on Thursday, 19 January 2017.
On the 19th January we briefed delegates about the Your Union Agreement campaign and talked to them about them about the negotiation so far, the political landscape and what we need to do to influence the outcome of the State election.
We discussed our strategy to target seats where our members vote could make the difference. These seats are likely to be close and whichever party wins them will likely win government.
The target seats are:
on Monday, 20 February 2017.
On the 13 February we kicked off five days’ worth of Your Agreement, Your Vote Forums in target seats across the metropolitan area.
We had invited all of the local candidates for the target seats to participate in a panel discussion and Q&A session. The forums were a chance for members to directly ask the people who want to represent them in the State Parliament the questions they want answers to before they vote.
We continued to encourage CPSU/CSA members to elect a government that will ensure that the public sector can continue to deliver valued services to West Australians.
The members invited to the forums are electors in the key seats that will shape the Government this election. They have a crucial role in determining who will form Government after the 11th March 2017 and the forums were a unique opportunity to make an informed decision ahead of the start of early voting on the 20th February.
The forums were a fascinating insight into the policies of the parties.
Here’s the wrap up of each event:
BICTON MONDAY 13 FEBRUARY
Panellists for this event were: Louise Dickmann (Greens), Lisa O’Malley (WA Labor), Steve Kepert (Independent), Carl Maddox (Julie Matheson for WA), Alex Brownbill (Flux) and Richard Eldridge (One Nation).
While we expected Roe8 to be an issue people wanted to talk about, the key question was about permanency and we got some interesting answers. Lisa O’Malley from Labor talked about the Labor policy to convert public sector staff to permanency as part of a commitment to providing real improvements to essential services. Louise Dickmann (a TAFE Lecturer) said “I understand there should be a mix of casuals but at the moment it is out of whack, and it becomes very stressful to do our work” and Steve Kepert, the Independent for Bicton who is running on a platform of opposing the Pert h Freight Link said: “There are people with a lot less job security out there than people in the public service.” Alex Brownbill made it clear that the Flux Party method is to ask people what they want to rather than having a view themselves and Richard Eldridge from One Nation said “Job security is very important.”
WANNEROO JOONDALUP TUESDAY 14 FEBRUARY
Emily Hamilton (WA Labor for Joondalup), Max Wilson (Independent for Wanneroo), Sabine Winton (WA Labor for Wanneroo), Alison Xamon (Greens for North Metro) and Alannah MacTiernan (WA Labor for North Metro) took part in our panel.
Our Q and A discussion was very interesting with all candidates indicating their support for the sector. Alison Xamon and Emily Hamilton talked about their membership of the CPSU/CSA and what it had meant to them to be members.
Alannah MacTiernan and Alison Xamon also talked about the need for institutional memory in the public sector.
SOUTHERN RIVER WEDNESDAY 15 FEBRUARY
Terry Healy (WA Labor), Steven Secker (Independent) and Ash Srivastava (Julie Matheson for WA) took part in our panel.
Terry Healy talked about his experience as a teacher and the impact of funding cuts on the support staff at his school saying “I have 32 kids in my English class and I lost core staff, and it really hurt me because it hurt my kids.
Steven Secker is also passionate about education and talked about the Government’s will to find money for big projects while they cut the public sector.
Ash Srivatava opposes privatisation of prisons saying: In the US prisons have been privatised, what does a business man who runs a prison want? More business, but the public sector doesn’t want more business there’s the difference.”
BALCATTA MORLEY / MT LAWLEY THURSDAY 16 FEBRUARY
This was our biggest forum with seven candidates on the panel. They were: David Michael (WA Labor for Balcatta), Anne-Marie Ricciardi (Greens for Morley), Amber Jade Sanderson (WA Labor for Morley), Matt Roberts (Greens for Mt Lawley), Simon Millman (WA Labor for Mt Lawley), Tim Clifford (Greens for East Metro) and Jim Taylor (Flux for the East Metro).
David Michael and Tim Clifford are both members of the CPSU/CSA. It’s worth noting that the Liberal member for Morley did send his apologies for this forum. The first question was about the wage increase with the Labor panellists saying that a fair wage was essential but in the current economic conditions, the permanency provisions and secure employment are important. Tim Clifford from the Greens talked about the importance of reclassification of positions and conversion to permanency from contracts.
SWAN HILLS FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY
This was our most lively forum to date with Jessica Shaw (WA Labor), Danusha BHOWANIAH (Julie Matheson for WA), Evan Webb (Greens) and Julie Matheson (Julie Matheson for WA). The One Nation candidate, Sandra Old had apologetically withdrawn earlier in the day saying that she had been advised by her party leader not to attend.
During question time, a member asked Julie Matheson about her promise to axe 22 Departments. This started a lively discussion between the candidates about the role of the public sector. Jessica Shaw made it clear that she thought that public sector were simply doing their jobs as directed by the Government and that the solution to an issue with a department is to change the government not cut the department.
The Ellenbrook train was also a hot issue with Labor promising that it would be delivered and there was much debate about the GST with the Julie Matheson for WA representatives arguing strongly that they thought WA deserved more GST funding.
on Wednesday, 01 March 2017.
The next few weeks are the culmination of many years work for our Union and the labour movement. The Save Our Services campaign and the political element of the Your Union Agreement campaign are in their final stages and we have managed to get a clear view of what both major parties will deliver for the public sector.
The Premier has failed to engage at all in the Your Union Agreement process despite our best efforts:
17 November 2016 – We lodged our claim with the security guard at Hale House after the Premier failed to respond to our request for a meeting
13 December 2016 – The Premier failed to issue instructions to the Department of Commerce prior to the start of the bargaining process
12 January 2017 – The Premier failed to issue instructions to the Department of Commerce prior to the start of the first bargaining meeting.
10 February 2017 – The CPSU/CSA wrote to the Premier seeking his commitment to provide back pay should negotiations go over schedule.
We haven’t had a response to date from the Premier and now we are worried he might be not just be missing in action, but missing altogether.
Can you help us find him by saving your milk cartons so we can launch a ‘missing’ campaign? It’s as easy as 1-2-3
There is a collection point in the foyer at 445 Hay Street and members will receive red shopping bags across this week to assist in collections at worksites, get your red shopping bag by emailing us at [email protected]
Collect milk cartons (and give them a good rinse) between now and the 7th of March. We will collect the cartons on the 7 and 8th March – just let us know that you have some cartons to collect by emailing us at [email protected]
Stay tuned to our Facebook page on the 9 March to help us find our missing Premier.
on Friday, 03 March 2017.
The Premier finally decided to engage with us today, he responded to the letter we wrote to him on the 10th February seeking his commitment to provide back pay should negotiations go over schedule.
The letter doesn’t give a commitment and says that information we asked for has been provided to us, it hasn’t.
The Premier is still missing in action on an Agreement that relates to over 40 000 West Australians. The Premier has not responded to the elements of our claim and the Liberal Party have not issued a policy for the public sector.
You can see a copy of the Premier’s response to back pay here.
on Friday, 10 March 2017.
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.