Labor pledges fair pay, job security and decent conditions for public sector

The CPSU has welcomed Labor’s commitment to provide fair wages, working conditions and secure jobs to Commonwealth workers, saying it will deliver the strong public sector that is required to deliver good government.

Labor has pledged to take a vastly different approach to workplace relations for the Australian Public Service, undoing the harm caused to public sector workers and their families by the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government through a wage freeze of three years or more and large-scale cuts to working conditions, particularly family friendly conditions.

The ALP statement on APS workplace relations says a Labor government would recognise the importance of secure jobs and fair wages and working conditions for all Commonwealth workers, promising a solution for the whole public service to the mess left by the Coalition.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “Our members in the Australian Public Service will be really pleased but also relieved at this announcement from Labor, given they’ve endured nearly six years of ideological attacks from the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government that have cut their real wages and undermined their working conditions and job security. This is about helping Border Force officers doing shift work at our international airports pay the bills, it’s about helping a mum working at Centrelink balance her work with the need to pick up her kids for school or day care.”

“There’s no better sign of a government’s attitude to workers and wages than how it treats its own workforce. This is a firm commitment from Labor to provide fair pay, secure work and decent conditions, particularly family-friendly conditions that allow people to juggle their work and family lives. This is a commitment to have a service-wide solution to the mess the Coalition has left behind for over 100 public service agencies and 150,000 workers. It will help Commonwealth public sector workers who provide essential services and who should underpin policy capacity and good government. This is about taking the money the Coalition is handing to corporations through outsourcing and privatisation and reinvesting that money in providing a capable workforce and quality services.”

“The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government by comparison has shown absolute contempt for Commonwealth workers and their families. Prime Minister Scott Morrison can pretend to care about ordinary families struggling with the rising cost of living, but the reality is the Government froze the wages of almost 150,000 workers for years. They deliberately cut wages for public sector workers on average wages, just like they’ve deliberately suppressed wages of ordinary Australians around the country.”

“The Coalition has done enormous damage to critical Commonwealth agencies, and that damage is one of the key reasons why they’ve been unable to provide good government to the Australian people. This ideologically-motivated attack on workers has been slashing jobs and cutting the pay of average workers, then handing that money over the profit-driven multinational corporations through contract, consultant and labour hire arrangements. The ALP’s plan shows a Labor government will be a model employer that puts workers and services before corporate profits.”