Australia: Double-pronged assault on public sector workers

24 February 2012
In Australia, the O'Farrell Government has signalled its intention to launch a fresh attack on public services and the rights of people who deliver them, with cuts to frontline staff on the agenda.

The commission of audit recommends abolishing staff ratios and a rewrite of the Industrial Relations Act.

The measures would quickly erode rights for public sector workers and diminish the quality of public services for the people of NSW.

"After spending most of last year attacking the workplace rights of nurses, police, firefighters and other public sector workers, the Government is now considering removing staff ratios, degrading our public services and stamping out the rights of public sector workers," Unions NSW Secretary, Mark Lennon said.

"Staff ratios are vital to ensuring we have enough staff looking after our cities and regions.

"Further changes to the IR Act are simply unfathomable - we have already seen a serious incursion on the right to collectively bargain and appeal to the independent umpire.

"You can't improve public services when you continually demoralise the very people who protect our community, keep us safe and look after the sick."

Mr Lennon said it was also disappointing to see further asset sales on the agenda.

He said selling off income generating assets made little sense when the State had a robust bottom line.

"NSW has a triple-A credit rating, there is no reason to sell off healthy public assets that provide a revenue stream to Government.

"These decisions will be regretted by future generations."

 

Source:

http://www.unionsnsw.org.au/unions-news/double-pronged-assault-public-sector-workers

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