Budget 2021-22

In Tuesday night’s budget we saw the Morrison Government finally admit that their staffing level cap is unworkable, scrapping the arbitrary service-wide cap that kept staffing at 2006-2007 levels. The Budget announced a 5,364 increase in staffing APS-wide, and will return to setting staffing limits at the portfolio level.

It was only through the sustained advocacy and campaigning by CPSU members, delegates and our Proud to Be Public supporters that this result was possible.

However, the 5,000+ jobs the Government has announced restore less than half of the 13,000 it has cut since 2013. These staffing increases are not service-wide and some agencies are facing staffing cuts or no increases.

We know that there is much more to do to address workload pressures and provide enough permanent staff and resourcing so that you can deliver the services our community relies on, but is good to have turned a corner on the staffing cap.

Below is a snapshot of key Budget measures. Click here for the full list of staffing changes by agency.

Our campaign for secure jobs and a strong public service continues to get results. Just yesterday, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham also conceded what CPSU members have long been telling the Government - the Government has accepted it is more efficient and effective to use ongoing public service staff than expensive contractors.

There’s more to be done to ensure we have the stronger and properly resourced public service Australia needs – a public service that is bigger and bolder, delivering better outcomes for our community and is a better place to work. CPSU members have shown they are up to the challenge.

Key Budget measures for CPSU members

  • Average Staffing Level (excluding military and reserves) increases by 5,364 or 3%.
  • Regional jobs: $600,000 in 2021 22 has been allocated to undertake a scoping study into establishing Australian Public Service Hubs in regional Australia. This is welcome news and comes after we took our Regional Jobs Hub proposal to Government.
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs staffing increase of 447 or 27.7%. $164.6 million over two years for DVA from 2021-22 to support departmental operations and processing of claims for rehabilitation, compensation and income support submitted by veterans and their dependents. The Government will provide $174.2 million over two years from 2021-22 for a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
  • Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) staffing to significantly increase by 312 or 60.1%, with $301.3 million in funding to safeguard the quality, safety and integrity of aged care services and address failures in care and to extend support to manage and prevent outbreaks of COVID-19.
  • NDIA sees a staffing reduction of 8 or -0.2%, despite high workloads and backlogs of claims. Likewise, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission sees a staffing cut of 8 or -2.3%.
  • Services Australia staffing has been cut by 799 or -2.9%, at a time when the community has never relied on Services Australia more. $99.3 million over four years from 2021-22 (and $24.9 million per year ongoing) for Services Australia to deliver government payments and services in remote locations.
  • Despite the National Archives of Australia needing $67.7million to save the most urgent and at-risk materials, they received only $700,000 and no increase to staffing.
  • National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) staffing increases by 49, despite additional staffing needed for significant work ahead on a consultation and design process for a replacement of the CDP.
  • National Gallery of Australia received some much-needed funding for capital works but no increase to staffing.
  • Department of Health staffing increase of 498 or 12.0%
  • Attorney-General’s staffing increases by 132 or 7.7%. The Attorney-General’s portfolio sees $6.0 million over four years from 2021-22 to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency and the Australian Public Service Commission to strengthen reporting on sexual harassment prevalence, prevention and response. $9.3 million over four years from 2021-22 to support the implementation of the Government’s response to the Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report.
  • Home Affairs staffing increase of 497 or 3.5%
  • Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) staffing increases by 49 or 15.6%. $61.5 million over four years from 2021-22 to enable the ANAO to address rising costs due to more complex financial data and records management arrangements, new audit controls relating to COVID-19 measures, and the need to enhance IT cybersecurity migration.
  • CSIRO staffing increase of 396 or 7.9%
  • Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) staffing increases by 58 or 3.7%. $24.8 million in 2021-22 to BOM to maintain meteorological services.
  • ABS staffing increase of 371 or 13%
  • ATO staffing increase of 218 or 1.2%
  • Treasury staffing increase of 190 or 16.7%
  • Courts staffing increase of 179 or 16.6%. $60.8 million over four years from 2021-22 (and $1.7 million per year ongoing) to reform family law case management processes.
  • Department of Social Services (DSS) staffing increase of 145 or 7.6%
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment staffing increase of 142 or 2.3%.
  • Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications staffing increase of 140 or 9.3%
  • PM&C staffing increase of 107 or 10.5%
  • Australian Digital Health Agency staffing increase 82 or 32.4%.
  • Australian Institute of Martine Science staffing increase 60 or 25%.
  • Digital Transformation Agency staffing decreases of 28 or -11%.
  • ASIC staffing decreases by 218 or -10.4%.
  • Department of Defence staffing cuts of 105 or -0.6%.
  • The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources staffing decreases by 10 or -0.3%.
  • National Recovery and Resilience Agency: $61.1 million over four years from 2021-22 (and $22.9 million per year ongoing) to establish the NRRA to lead Commonwealth and national efforts to improve preparedness for and recovery from natural disasters and other hazards, and consolidate existing Commonwealth functions related to relief, resilience and recovery (including functions from the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency, the National Bushfire Recovery Agency and EMA).

For a full list of agency staffing comparisons, click here.