Labor's new reforms fail the public sector: Stone

THE Fair Work Amendment introduced into the Federal House of Representatives this week probably offers better politics for the Labor Party than protection for public servants in Queensland.

It paints a handy picture for the Labor Party: while the LNP is cutting jobs, the ALP is trying to protect workers.  But the unfortunate truth is that most public sector workers will be no better off as a result of this bill.

The amendment only offers protection in cases where the work of the public service is being outsourced.  If a former public servant finds that within three months of being pushed out of the public service they are doing exactly the same work in the private sector (i.e. their part of the public service has effectively been privatised), they will be entitled to the same pay and conditions as they enjoyed while performing that work in the public sector.

There is no doubt that we will see plenty of such outsourcing to the private sector.  The Queensland Government has already made some specific announcements: the State Reporting Bureau is to be outsourced, as is some of the forensic science work done at the John Tonge Centre, and the Government's airwing assets may also soon be shuffled off to the private sector.

And the Government has specifically legislated to remove the protections against outsourcing from awards and enterprise bargaining agreements - a sure indication of their plans for the future.

But most of the many thousands of public sector workers being shown the door are not being outsourced.  They are simply being sacked, in clear violation of an election commitment.

For them, this amendment offers nothing.

They will pack up their desks and head for the door, unsure about their future, worried for their families, saddened to part with friends and colleagues, with ceaseless spin and deception making an already difficult situation that much harder.

They'll be told that their departure is voluntary, but if they had chosen to be redeployed and were unsuccessful after four months (a real risk given that the budget made clear that there will be 10 600 redundancies), they would have been retrenched with a smaller payout.  Some choice.

They'll recall the LNP's oft-stated commitment to front line services, even though some of them are nurses and doctors.

They'll hear implausible exaggerations about Queensland's financial position rolled out as justification for their dismissal.  They may well wonder how they unwittingly came to settle in Spain.

They may also wonder how we cannot afford their salaries while we can afford to forego $211 million over the forward estimates freezing car registration on some large vehicles (p.133), over $90 million per year abolishing the waste levy (p.128), $430 million over the forward estimates by raising the payroll tax threshold (p.138), and $917 million over the forward estimates by reintroducing concessional stamp duty (p.138).

They could be puzzled that, at the same time as we strangle the State's income, we can manage to splash $92 million on an $80 non-means tested handout to every household with a water connection (p.41), and $63 million on compensation for electricity retailers to cover lost revenue from a freeze on the standard residential electricity tariff (p.41).

Strange priorities for Spain, no?

I know, I know.  These measures are all in fulfillment of election promises.

But permanent public servants were also promised that they would not be forced out of their jobs and the Queensland community was promised that it would not have to suffer cuts to front line services.

So don't expect those who have lost their livelihoods to take much comfort in the knowledge that these rather more serious commitments have been sacrificed to pay for opportunistic pandering to the fiction that we are suffering a cost of living crisis.

Adam Stone is Lead Senate Candidate for the Queensland Greens.

Topics:  fair work greens opinion public service

Alexis declined offers of drive home: murder trial

Alexis Jeffery. Contributed from Facebook, March 17, 2014.

At one she point laughed, pushed him and told him to "f*** off”

Warwick Rodeo tough enough to wear pink

Tough Enough to Wear Pink days have spread to rodeo fundraisers throughout the state.

Visitors to Warwick Rodeo have been sporting the hue today

10 people injured in Cunningham Hwy bus rollover

Ambulance, Emergency Services
Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

EMERGENCY crews are rushing to a bus rollover.

Local Partners

Australia Day Award nominations now open

ALL those who know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Warwick community is encouraged to nominate them for an Australia Day Award.

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Events you need to be at this week...

Some Australian sevens rugby squad members will be in Warwick this weekend.

It won't be all rodeo in Warwick this weekend

He's here for the Melbourne Cup of campdrafting

David Thorn from Cootamundra on Oh How Foxy.

David Thorn is here to make the most of the Warwick Rodeo.

Mel C won't return to Spice Girls for daughter

MEL C is adamant she won't reunite with the Spice Girls

60's British rock legends to return to Australia

The Troggs will play a string of dates across Australia in November.  Photo Contributed

We all remember 'Wild Thing' and now you can hear it live.

Depp jumps ship from agency of 25 years

Johnny Depp has signed to CAA after 25 years with the United

Orlando Bloom 'buried' Katy Perry in birthday flowers

Orlando Bloom "buried" Katy Perry in flowers for her birthday

MacBook fires up: New "touchbar" will include emojis

COULD emojis help the MacBook again deliver a laptop revolution?

Angus T. Jones got miserable on Two and a Half Men

Child star's misery while shooting 'Two and a Half Men'

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!