The Turnbull Government should be directly employing enough staff in the public service to do the work that needs to get done, so that staff can rely on decent and secure jobs and the community can access the services we need. Instead, the Government have an arbitrary cap – the ‘ASL cap’ – which means that agencies have to use labour hire and insecure work to get their job done.
The Turnbull Government is wasting billions of dollars by outsourcing public sector work to big multinational consultancy firms like KPMG, PwC and Serco.
CPSU members have worked hard to get public attention on this issue as we campaign for jobs, and our concerns have been picked up by our Parliament, which is now conducting an inquiry into the use of contractors and consultants.
The CPSU recently appeared at the inquiry and called the Turnbull Government out on its obvious and dishonest plan to privatise the APS by stealth and undermine secure jobs. Here’s what CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said at the inquiry:
“The Government’s imposition of an Average Staffing Level (ASL) cap on agencies has created perverse incentives to hire contractors, consultants and labour-hire staff that are increasing costs to Government while hollowing out the skills and capabilities of the APS, and delivering less to the public.”
“The Government pretends it’s cutting the size of the public sector but while it’s slashing thousands of jobs it’s lining the pockets of consultants and corporations.”
“The Turnbull Government is spending literally billions of dollars on consultants, contractors and labour-hire arrangements to try to paper over the cracks of its public-sector ideology. The end result of all this outsourcing is that the public gets lower quality services while more money goes into private hands. “
We know Australians want government to be able to deliver services directly – and we know we all deserve decent, secure jobs – not labour hire arrangements which mean people doing Tax Office work are getting paid less than they would at Macca’s.
Australians don’t just want more effective government; they want a more active government with the courage to take on ideas. The Australian people have a right to ask why so much of their money is being consumed by these big tax dodging consultancy firms. This money should be used to pay for our essential services, decent public service jobs, and staff development, not going into the pockets of shareholders and paying for high executive salaries.
The CPSU is calling on the government to:
- Scrap the ASL cap
- Put a cap on consultant and contractor spending and reinvest savings in new permanent APS jobs
- Ban labour hire in the APS
- Create thousands of new APS jobs, particularly in regional Australia to help solve the regional unemployment crisis
- Prevent savage cuts and major privatisations that threaten jobs and services
We want Government to commit to these changes and to providing long-term satisfactory funding, helping to create good jobs and better services.