Union condemns public service cuts

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has condemned the federal government's planned increase in the “efficiency dividend” imposed on the Australian Public Service.

“Efficiency dividend” is a euphemism for funding cut. In the 2012-13 financial year the “dividend” will be 4%, based on the assumption the public service will increase its efficiency by 4% during the year.

Such cuts have been continuing for many years. In 2011-2012 the “efficiency dividend” is 1.5%.

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said the rise of the “efficiency dividend” will mean redundancies for staff and longer queues for people using essential public services.

“Frontline agencies spend over two-thirds of their budget on employees,” she said on November 29. “Our best analysis shows up to 3000 jobs could be lost across the public service. It’s a shocking decision.”

The subsequent announcement of big pay rises for politicians added to the anger. "On Tuesday, the government introduced a raft of cuts that will rip more than $2 billion dollars a year from the public sector, reduce services for the community and slash thousands of jobs,” Flood said on December 1.

“Today we learn the same politicians — and those in the Opposition — are about to get a massive pay hike. It is not hard to see why people in the public service are so upset.”