Shorten's department cuts 500 jobs: CPSU media release
23 February 2012, 4:45pm
Bill Shorten: Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
The CPSU says the Gillard Government's credibility on employment issues is being undermined by the fact it is slashing its own workforce as part of a $2.2 billion program of cuts, including an increased ‘efficiency' dividend.
The union's comments follow the announcement yesterday of 500 voluntary redundancies at the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and 150 at the Treasury. Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced a plan to cut 75 positions.
CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said:
"As Employment Minister, one of Mr Shorten's key roles is to encourage employers around Australia to do whatever they can to keep people in work," said Ms Flood.
"It's clear now that this important task has been compromised by the decision to cut hundreds of jobs in the Minister's own Department.
"Cutting these positions is bad news for DEEWR employees, but it's also bad news for the many businesses and organisations that rely on the important work these people do.
"Australia is going to need bright, motivated and experienced public sector workers to help us navigate challenges such as climate change, the information economy and the education revolution.
"We're concerned that this relentless program of cuts will drive talented and skilled professionals out of the Government workforce," said Ms Flood
The CPSU also warned that Government service delivery is being stretched to the limit by the decision to increase the ‘efficiency' dividend from 2.5% to 4%.
"Frontline staff in Centrelink and Medicare are under enormous pressure, with queues and delays getting longer every day.
"Staff are trying their best to balance increasing workloads with reduced staffing, but the rivets are really starting to pop," said Ms Flood.