Commonwealth staffing figures confirm savage cuts

The CPSU says new staffing figures for Commonwealth agencies show the Turnbull Government has continued to slash quality jobs, doing further damage to the quality and reliability of essential public services.

The Australian Public Service Commission has published its 2016-17 Statistical Bulletin, showing the number of people employed by Commonwealth agencies fell by 2.8% to 152,095 in the year to June.

More than 3,600 jobs were cut across the Commonwealth.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “The Coalition caused enormous damage with massive job cuts during its first years in Government. Slashing more than 3,600 Commonwealth jobs is another huge blow to the quality and reliability of Commonwealth services.”

“The Turnbull Government and their lackey the Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd might be celebrating these figures but ordinary Australians certainly aren’t. Thousands of people have been sacked and these cuts are also the reason why more than 42 million calls to Centrelink went unanswered last financial year and for other disasters including robo-debt and the Census debacle.”

“The Government’s ideological obsession with the size of the Commonwealth public sector is doing enormous damage, with thousands of permanent staff gone from places such as DHS, the Courts, CSIRO and Immigration and Border Force. In other places they’re trying to paper over the cracks by employing people through labour hire firms.”

“The APS Statistical Bulletin counts permanent and non-ongoing employees of Commonwealth agencies but it does not count people employed indirectly through labour hire companies. Today’s figures also take no account of the billions of dollars the Turnbull Government throws at multinational consulting firms like EY, Deloitte, PwC and KPMG. It’s a number that keeps on growing as service standards keep falling.”

“We don’t know how many people are employed through labour hire arrangements but what we do know is that these contracts cost the tax payer more as labour hire firms profit at the expense of their workers. That extra cost also delivers less, because labour hire staff are generally paid less, provided with inadequate training and have no job security.”

“The reality is that the size of the Commonwealth public sector should have grown along with Australia’s population, providing essential public services as well as quality secure jobs for communities around the country, particularly in regional areas. Australians deserve to be able to access services like Medicare through staff who have the right training and resources to help.”