Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)

The disaster caused by the federal government’s policy of privatising Centrelink call centres work has been underlined by the results of a survey of Department of Human Services (DHS) staff.

The government has outsourced 2750 call centre jobs to private companies since 2017.

The survey of 1300 DHS employees showed 85% of staff believe private call centre staff do not get the training they need; 87% said clients wait longer because private staff cannot resolve their issues; and 85% reported fixing issues caused by private call centre employees.

About 200 general and academic staff rallied at the University of Sydney on October 3 against management plans to cut jobs and services in the professional support staff area.

Angry Bananas in Pajamas on placards at rally against cuts

Unions have condemned the federal government's decision to cut a further $84 million from funding for the ABC in the federal budget announced on May 8.

The budget confirmed the government has frozen the indexation of ABC funding to effectively cut that amount over three years. These latest cuts come on top of the $254 million the Coalition government has already removed from the ABC's revenue since 2014.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has warned that a review of the Australian Public Service (APS) will fail if the federal government uses it to continue to promote its damaging neoliberal ideology and refuses to make significant policy changes that benefit all Australians.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) says that contracting another 1000 private call centre operators to answer calls to Centrelink will not fix the problems caused by the federal government’s damaging cuts to the agency.

Minister for Human Services Michael Keenan announced on April 23 the introduction of another 1000 low-paid and insecure jobs, on top of the 250 positions currently generating a profit for multinational company Serco.

Members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) working in the Department of Human Services (DHS) resumed rolling strike action on March 24 in support of their longstanding struggle for a new enterprise agreement.

The workers in DHS, which includes Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support, had already begun work bans as part of their campaign.

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in the federal Department of Human Services (DHS) have launched six days of rolling industrial action over the stalled enterprise bargaining process and the Centrelink robo-debt crisis.

Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support workers will strike and take other forms of industrial action over February 13 to 24.

The federal Coalition government has unleashed robots to illegally extort $4.5 billion from poor people. The money for politicians’ perks, tax dodging by the rich and corporate hand-outs — such as the $1 billion dollars given to coal giant Adani — has to come from somewhere.

The staff who have to adminster Centrelink’s “robo-debt” system are under huge pressure and are demanding an immediate halt to the punitive approach.

A Centrelink worker told Green Left Weekly that the system was implemented without staff being trained and that they were ill equipped to explain the debts.

Staff of the federal Department of Human Services (DHS), which covers Centrelink, Medicare and the Child Support Agency, voted to reject a management-proposed enterprise bargaining agreement that would strip away workplace rights and conditions.

This is the third comprehensive “No” vote in 14 months in DHS, which is the Commonwealth government’s largest public service agency.

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