NT jobs and services would disappear under CLP plan, warns CPSU
7 August 2012, 2:32pm
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has warned that jobs and services would disappear under the CLP's plan to overhaul the Northern Territory Public Service, should they win office.
CPSU NT Regional Director Kay Densley said "The Opposition are choosing their words very carefully when they are talking about public sector jobs. They say they won't be pursuing involuntarily redundancies, but they have refused to commit to maintaining the current level of public sector employment.
"We believe the CLP is planning to permanently reduce the size of the public sector through voluntary redundancies and natural attrition.
"At a time of high staff turnover (approximately 20% per year) and rapid population growth, the CLP's policy is a recipe for massive service delivery problems and dangerous workloads.
The CPSU has also expressed concern that the CLP's carefully worded pre-election commitments on public sector jobs may change after the election.
"Our members are alarmed by reports from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria where recently elected Liberal Governments are cutting thousands of jobs, changing pay bargaining rules and slashing services, despite promising only minimal changes before they were elected.
"Ahead of the Queensland election, Campbell Newman's LNP wrote to Queensland unions stating that ... ‘under an LNP government there will be no forced retrenchments in our first term - but we have indicated the need to have a ‘right sized' public service in the future to ensure that the structures of government do improve front line service delivery and Labor's unsustainable budget deficit is addressed'.
"A few months later thousands of public sector jobs have gone and vital services such as breast cancer screening programs are being cut. And for the State public sector workers who hang on to their jobs, workloads are exploding and service levels are deteriorating," said Ms Densley.
At the same time CPSU members are concerned about the CLP's obsession with dividing public service jobs into ‘frontline' or ‘non-essential' positions.
"While everyone wants more nurses, teachers and police on the job, cutting ‘support' roles does not make this happen. In fact, cutting support jobs simply means teachers, nurses and police staff are taken out of the classroom or off the ward to perform administrative support work.
"Many public servants are sceptical about the Country / Liberal Party's attempt to pitch itself as the defender of the NTPS. It's always nice to see public sector issues get broad public attention, but the fact that the CLP's new attitude has appeared just two weeks out from an election has raised a few eyebrows.
"CPSU members are very perceptive and they can smell electioneering when they see it. What NTPS staff - and their customers - really want is a sensible discussion about what needs to be done to ensure there are enough staff and resources to deliver the services for Territorians," said Ms Densley.
Kay Densley | NT CPSU Regional Director | mob 0402 182 003 | ph 08 89828500
Kay Densley NT CPSU Regional Director Ph: 0402 182 003