So much change, so little time
The McGowan Government’s ambitious cultural change agenda has set in train a number of processes. We will bring you the latest from the front as we engage with the government and union members to get the best outcome for you.
MACHINERY OF GOVERNMENT
CPSU/CSA representatives met with the Public Sector Commission, the Department of Commerce and the newly minted Director General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. While those discussions canvassed all of the initiatives launched by the McGowan government, there was a particular focus on the Machinery of Government process.
It’s critical that members are engaged in the Machinery of Government process. We must use this opportunity in the best interests of all CPSU/CSA members.
Early next week, delegates in agencies affected by the amalgamations will receive an invitation to a union workshop where we will share information, experiences to date and establish how we all work together for the best outcome for members. A primary objective for us will be to ensure job cuts are minimised, members secure positions in the new organisations and workloads are at reasonable levels.
If you aren’t a delegate and think it might be a good time to become one, find out more about the process of preparing your nomination.
COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
Last week, the Government announced a Commission of Inquiry into ‘where the money went’.
Members know the money disappeared into failed privatisation projects, excessive use of labour hire, contracting out and outsourcing. These were ideological projects driven by the last government which destroyed the capacity of the sector to deliver services to West Australians.
We will be making submissions to this Inquiry and encourage CPSU/CSA members who know where waste occurred to let us know the details at [email protected]
SERVICE PRIORITY REVIEW
This week Branch Secretary, Toni Walkington, met with Iain Rennie, Margaret Searle and the Service Priority Review team to talk about what the Review is likely to look at. At this very early stage, it was clear that there are a lot of issues that the Review could cover. Most importantly, there is a real opportunity for our Union to make a significant contribution to the Review in collaboration with members. This is a chance for us to seek the kind of change that will help equip the sector to deliver services for Western Australians and be a better place to work generally. We look forward to bringing you more information about that soon.
Reports of the various reform announcements were accompanied by commentary about job cuts. The Leader of the Opposition, the former Treasurer in the Barnett Government, Mike Nahan, attempted to put a figure of 3000 jobs to go. The new Treasurer, Ben Wyatt, was quoted as saying it would be less than 3000 jobs.
Prior to the election the WA Labor Party publicly released its costings which included a savings target of $750 million over three years. At that time we sought further details from the then Leader of the Opposition and were advised that these savings would be found through the process outlined in the Service Priority Review, the amalgamation of government agencies, the reduction in the size of the Senior Executive Service, a whole of government digital strategy to streamline processes and realise economies of scale by reducing bureaucracy and red tape, and efficiencies in procurement. In addition we were advised that there would be no forced redundancies and it was intended that any reductions would be managed through a process of natural attrition and any redundancies being targeted to specific areas if required.
We continue to advocate that a strong public sector is essential if the Western Australian economy is to recover. The experience across the globe following the Global Financial Crisis demonstrates that government’s austerity measures such as job and budget cuts have failed to address the decline of their economies. The heart of the problem lies not with general government expenses, which in WA is of minimal growth, but with an inadequate revenue base.
PUBLIC SECTOR WAGES POLICY 2017
On Friday 12th of May, the McGowan Government announced a new public sector wages policy providing for a flat $19.20 per week increase, or $1,000 per year, for public sector employees.
This comes despite WA Labor’s promise in the lead up to the state election to maintain the previous government’s wages policy of 1.5% increases per year, and would comparatively leave two thirds of CPSU/CSA members with lower pay outcomes.
Branch Secretary Toni Walkington spoke out against the policy, both in the media and directly to the Premier.
Ultimately, it will be up to Union members to decide what is or is not an acceptable offer from Government for your pay and conditions. Come to your local members’ meeting at 12 noon on the 24th of May and make your voice heard.