The Government’s very bad public sector bargaining policy just got worse

The Federal Government has updated bargaining rules for the public sector and the good news is… well there isn’t any.

Despite the controversial policy’s role in breaking bargaining processes across the country and stagnating wages – including at CSIRO – the Turnbull Government has doubled down on its regressive approach.

Jobs threat

The two per cent pay cap remains firmly in place. Cuts to workplace conditions will continue to be aggressively encouraged by the Australian Public Service Commission.

However, in a major threat to job security – and a potential boon to private consultants already flushed with taxpayer’s cash – the new policy explicitly bans scrutiny or restrictions on Government use of contractors, labour hire and outsourcing.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood slammed the plan.

Bad news

“This bargaining policy is bad news, just like its recent predecessors that have done some much damage to Commonwealth agencies, the people that work in them and the critical services they provide. This policy continues a destructive approach that bars workers from genuinely bargaining for decent wages and conditions.

“The Turnbull Government’s demand through this policy for ‘wages restraint’ for workers who’ve just endured a three-year wage freeze is obscene. Australia has a huge problem with stagnant wages growth and job insecurity. These issues are dragging on economic growth and hurting ordinary Australians, and this new bargaining policy shows the Turnbull Government is part of the problem and not the solution.

“There are also new attacks on job security in Commonwealth agencies in this policy, including a clause designed to ensure the continued growth in wasteful and illogical spending on contractors and labour hire arrangements. There’s also explicit encouragement for individual arrangements outside of agreements that undermine enterprise bargaining and wages and conditions overall. It bears a frightening resemblance to the bad old days of WorkChoices.

Change the rules

“We have yet more evidence that our workplace rules are broken in this country. They need to be fixed so that all Australian workers, whether they work for Commonwealth agencies like Centrelink or the Tax Office or in any other sector of the economy, can get secure jobs that pay a decent wage and come with fair workplace rights and conditions,” Ms Flood said.

1 thought on “The Government’s very bad public sector bargaining policy just got worse

  1. Let’s place a total ban on any increases on politician salaries and CPI indexing, plus all expense perks until they fully deliver on their political promises, rather than weak excuses. Most every other worker is held accountable for their productivity and delivering outcomes for their incomes and if they don’t they are immediately sent packing. Why are the politicians absolved of this? Also, let’s the exit door be shown to all past politicians still sucking off taxpayer funds. They are no longer employed, they’re past retirement age and if they still want to be involved in Government let them pay, from their personal purses, for all their incurred expenses (and see how long they remain involved). Politicians have lost sight that they are SERVANTS of the public, elected into positions of privilege to represent ALL of the nation’s constituents and to do the best for ALL of it’s peoples, & NOT just for a wealthy minority, growing greedier by the day, not only in seeking obscene greater wealth but by shirking their duty to pay fair taxes. Honesty, truth, integrity and fairness have become forgotten victims in the political arena. God help us all because the political arena seems to be the only area where positions are growing.


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