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.
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.
“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.