New figures released by Services Australia today have revealed the heavy impact of the Coalition Governments cuts to vital public services.
In the fortnight from 23 March, there were:
- 6.5 million busy signals
- 2 million congestion messages
- 1.5 million unanswered calls
- an average call wait time of over 40 minutes
There has been a huge increase in Australians accessing Services Australia due to the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
The figures show that the government cuts to the staff of Services Australia severely limited the capacity of remaining staff to help people seeking assistance during the height of the pandemic.
The CPSU is calling on the federal government scrap the Average Staffing Level Cap (ASL Cap), so that Services Australia can employ more permanent staff to help the community access its essential services.
CPSU National Secretary, Melissa Donnelly said “Our members working at Services Australia were already under severe strain due to the Coalition Government’s Average Staffing Cap. In a business as usual situation there are 1.5 million unanswered calls, this is not just a pandemic issue.”
“Now more than ever, Australians need a strong and properly resourced public service. The government could fix this issue tomorrow if it wanted.”
“Our members have been working harder than ever to try and get through these calls and applications for assistance, they are dedicated to their job and they want to make sure people in our communities are getting the help they need, but their hard work is being undone by a government that simply refuses to do its job.”
“If this government it truly committed to helping people, businesses and communities recover from this pandemic they must commit to lifting the staffing cap and providing our public service with the secure jobs it needs to get the work done.”
“The Morrison Government must abolish the staffing cap and guarantee that no APS jobs will be cut during this term of Parliament.”