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News Media Releases Barnett Government declares war on public sector workers and services
Barnett Government declares war on public sector workers and services
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 16:48

The report of the Economic Audit Committee released by Treasurer Troy Buswell today confirms that the State Government has declared war on its own employees and the vital services they provide to the community.

The radical report has recommended that the State Government cease to provide essential public services, such as health, education, community safety and child protection and instead be a facilitator of private sector service provision.

The report also recommends giving the State Government the power to involuntarily terminate the employment of public sector workers and recommends an overhaul of minimum standards and the award safety net.

UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk said the Barnett Government had finally shown its true colours.

"Colin Barnett has masqueraded as a benign, middle-of-the-road, non-threatening Premier, but his Government has now shown its true colours, Ms McGurk said.

"Today, the Barnett Government has been revealed as a radical economic rationalist outfit, who are more concerned with providing their mates in business with opportunities than they are with the welfare of their own employees and the important services they provide the community.

"Make no mistake, the recommendations in today's report signal that the Barnett Government wants to see our nurses, teachers, police officers, child protection workers and other service providers phased out of the public sector and replaced by business people.

"This will be a disaster for the standard of vital health, education, community safety, child protection and other services in Western Australia, as the primary responsibility of service providers employed by business will be their shareholders, rather than the community."

The report's release coincided with a mass meeting of delegates from Western Australia's public sector unions, who came together today for the first time in almost ten years to defend WA workers from a hostile State Government.

More than 250 delegates from unions representing health, education, community safety, child protection and other public sector workers met today to discuss the State Government's ongoing assault on public sector workers and services.

In addition to the radical Economic Audit Committee report released today, the State Government plans to introduce WorkChoices-style changes to WA workplace laws, with this coming on top of Mr Buswell's arbitrary 3 per cent budget cuts.

Also occurring today was UnionsWA's launching of an online game that challenges competitors to prevent Troy Buswell from introducing WorkChoices-style changes into Western Australian work places.

The game can be viewed at www.noworkchoicesinwa.com and is the latest stage of UnionsWA's No WorkChoices in WA campaign, which was launched in September to build public awareness of the State Government's planned changes to WA's industrial relations laws.  The campaign includes a series of television commercials to highlight the threat to more than 300,000 workers remaining in the State industrial relations system.

Ms McGurk said the No WorkChoices in WA campaign would be run until the State Government guaranteed that it would:

·         Not introduce WorkChoices style individual contracts in Western Australia;

·         Not erode minimum standards or the award safety net system in Western Australian workplaces;

·         Maintain the role of the WA Industrial Relations Commission as the independent umpire;

·         Maintain protections against unfair dismissal; and

·         Maintain and improve public services in WA.

  UnionsWA_2009-12-15_Govt_Declares_War_on_Public_Sector.doc 130.00 Kb

 
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