Public sector workers standing up for jobs and services
26 August 2012, 6:22pm
More than 500 CPSU delegates will gather in Sydney next week to launch 'Cuts Hurt', a new campaign against public service cuts, which the union says risk causing long-term damage to crucial services that Australians rely on.
CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said the campaign will highlight problems caused by recent federal government cuts, as well as the massive cuts proposed by the Opposition should it win office.
"This campaign is about engaging with the public, who depend on public services, and ensuring every MP knows the depth of community concern about the issue," Ms Flood said.
"The federal public service performs many vital services for our community, from delivering payments to millions of families, protecting our borders and supporting our military to forecasting the weather."
"Yet too often our public service is seen as a magic pudding that can be raided to fix budget shortfalls. The fact is, cutting the public sector means cutting the services Australians rely on."
Ms Flood said the federal government's 4 per cent "efficiency dividend" and other Budget measures will take $2.4 billion and 4200 jobs out of the system this financial year.
"These are departments already cut to the bone. It means longer queues and fewer services for clients. It also means the loss of many skilled and experienced staff.
"If the Coalition is elected federally and implements its $50 billion program of cuts, the impact on ordinary Australians will be enormous.
" Tony Abbott has already said he will make an initial cut of 12,000 public sector jobs if elected, with more to come.
"The community is already being hit by 40,000 jobs cut by conservative state governments in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
"The Coalition are now openly promoting a UK-style ‘Big Society' approach, which has cut hundreds of thousands of jobs and destroyed services in Britain, while delivering huge outsourcing contracts to massive multi-national corporations such as Serco and G4S," Ms Flood said.
Kevin Hickson, a UK academic and expert on the Big Society program, will be a special guest at the CPSU conference next week.