Wrestling the Sovereign

  • 19 February 2013

Our Senate submission is titled 'Wrestling the Sovereign' and sets out despicable acts States play out on their PS workforces - best seller

'Wrestling the Sovereign' sets out the wrestling tactics required.

"Over the last three years State and Territory Governments of all political colours have mounted attacks on their respective public sectors purportedly as a method of dealing with economic instability in the aftershocks of the global financial crisis."

"Although prefigured by the Howard Government federally, the Kennett government in Victoria, and the Court government in Western Australia, the extent of the current cuts and mass redundancies are unprecedented in recent history."

  1. New South Wales: staff reduction target of 15000 and a 1.2 percent “labour expense cap”
  2. Victoria: 4,200 “non service delivery positions” over three years
  3. Queensland: 15,000 positions
  4. Western Australia: 400 positions in 2011
  5. South Australia: Between 2012 and 2016 the number of full time equivalent employees will decrease by 3,893[1]  Source: 2012-13 Budget Paper 1, Budget Overview, p5
  6. Tasmania: 2,300 over four years
  7. Northern Territory: staffing cap on staffing levels over 2010 and ,since the election of the CLP Government on 25 August 2012, 600 job cuts have been announced, a recruitment freeze has been implemented and hundreds of temporary contracts have not been renewed
  8. ACT: 180 positions through “natural attrition, reduced contractor expenses and voluntary redundancies”

"Those cuts have been accompanied by unilateral removal of long held rights of access to industrial tribunals, imposition of cuts by the so called “efficiency dividend”, legislated removal of terms and conditions, and wage policies which prescribe upper limits below the national average and insufficient to keep up with inflation."

"At the same time, a propaganda campaign has been used by various governments to justify these cuts.  The campaign has sought to demonise public sector workers by creating a false dichotomy between “faceless unproductive bureaucrats” and “front line workers” and to denigrate the work of those who are the interface between the government and the citizens of each State and Territory."

The Senate is inquiring into the conditions of employment of state public sector employees and the adequacy of protection of their rights at work as compared with other employees.