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Issue # 1404      25 March 2009

Public sector workers fight job cuts

Members of the NSW Public Service Association (PSA) are mobilising on many fronts to fight the job cuts to the public sector announced in the NSW government’s mini-budget.

The PSA, along with other public sector unions and Unions NSW, has vowed to campaign long and hard to combat the state government’s attack on public sector jobs.

The PSA estimates up to 4,000 jobs are at risk through direct cuts, privatisation and the jobs freeze. Areas where the government has wielded the knife are prisons, juvenile justice and Pillar Administration.

Prison officer members are running a very high profile campaign against the sell-off of Cessnock and Parklea prisons, and the privatisation of vital prison functions.

A PSA poll shows 70 percent of people in NSW oppose the privatisation of prisons. Similarly the closing of a major Juvenile Detention Centre in Wollongong has seen a huge response from the community to the PSA’s campaign against the closure.

The NSW government has also moved swiftly to sell-off Pillar Administration, threatening hundreds of public sector jobs.

Again the community can see the loss of permanent, secure public sector jobs from their region is a loss, not only for the workers, but for the community as a whole.

“We are ramping up our ‘Job Cuts = Service Cuts’ campaign to show the NSW Government that the cuts they propose are counter-productive in every way. The cost savings they think they can make are illusory,” said PSA general secretary, John Cahill.

“We will be informing the public of the truth behind the spin coming from the NSW government. These cuts can only affect services detrimentally and jeopardise permanent jobs at a time when every forecaster is predicting a radical rise in unemployment.”

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