Media release: No more cuts to the public service in the MYEFO
22 October 2012, 5:04am
PUBLIC services are suffering across the board with waiting times in many agencies increasing by 75% as a result of Budget cuts by the Federal Government, a survey of union members has found.
With the government expected to announce more savings as early as this week with its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) is warning that further public sector job cuts would undermine vital community services.
CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood warned there was "no more fat to cut" due to previous savings measures which have cut jobs and spending on travel, consultants, training and administrative.
"The public sector is already over-stretched and deeper cuts in MEYFO will only hurt jobs and services.
"The last Federal Budget took $2.2billion and 4,200 jobs out of the Commonwealth public service. Meanwhile at the state level 20,000 public sector jobs have been lost in Queensland, 15,000 in NSW and 4,200 in Victoria.
"The community has a right to expect decent services and these cuts have gone far enough," Ms Flood said.
The online survey of members from 500 workplaces across the nation conducted this month found that 80% said that staffing had been cut over the past 12 months and the same number said the cuts had not improved efficiency.
More than 40 Commonwealth agencies and departments were covered in the survey, among them Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support, the Australian Tax Office, the Department of Defence and Customs.
Ms Flood said that the work done by public servants is critical, no more so as the country enters the annual bushfire season.
"We have seen how important a role our members play when natural disasters strike, whether that's forecasters in the Bureau of Meteorology whose job it is to predict our weather patterns to the hard-working staff at Centrelink who are there to ensure people receive the assistance they require."
The survey also found the following:
• Increased client/customer waiting times in frontline areas - 72 per cent
• Increased workloads and targets - 76 per cent
• Reduction in quality and cutting of corners - 64 per cent
• More mistakes being made - 56 per cent
For further information and to arrange media comment, please call Julian Lee on 0409 493 290