CPSU wins insecure work breakthrough in ACT Public Service

Following a long running CPSU campaign, the ACT Government has advised the union it is acting decisively to tackle the damaging and unnecessary over-use of insecure employment arrangements in the ACT Public Sector.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations Rachel Stephen-Smith have written to the CPSU confirming the ACT Government will immediately establish a Taskforce to identify workers who should be permanently employed.

The decision follows through on commitments in the ACT Budget to minimise the use of labour-hire, casual, temporary, contract employment and outsourcing in the ACT Public Service.

CPSU ACT Regional Secretary Brooke Muscat-Bentley said: “This is a hugely important win for the workers who provide essential public services in the ACT. These people deserve quality, permanent employment directly with the ACT Public Service, and this commitment means the CPSU can make sure they get it. We believe thousands of ACT workers stand to benefit.”

“We know that far too many ACT Public Service workers are employed casually or through other forms of insecure work, particularly in key areas like ACT Health. CPSU members have spent many months working towards this point, pushing the ACT Government to do the right thing by workers and the right thing by public services. It’s a credit to Andrew Barr and Rachel Stephen-Smith that we’ve reached this important milestone.”

“The CPSU will be using its position on this new Taskforce to push to quickly put the principles of this commitment into action. Workers in insecure employment should be given decent, permanent jobs without delay to secure their livelihoods and ensure we have the kind of committed workforce that delivers the best services. We want workers out of limbo and in secure jobs within weeks not sometime in 2019.”

“Shoddy working conditions, stagnant wages growth and insecure jobs are pressing national issues and the ACT Government has been putting the Turnbull Government to shame in recent months. This is the second recent announcement from the ACT Government, coming just a few weeks after a Secure Local Jobs package to ensure contracting companies meet their legal obligations in areas such as pay, safety, working conditions and more.”

“The Turnbull Government in contrast has chosen to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution, driving insecure work and all the pain that causes for ordinary workers through its rush to turn essential public services into cash cows for the private sector. That path is hurting workers and damaging public services and policy capacity.”