Amy Knox from the CPSU attended the Vintage Reds’ April meeting for a quick update on outsourcing and labour hire at Centrelink, part of the Turnbull government’s reckless privatisation of public service jobs.
Serco has been given a contract to staff Centrelink call centres, with another 1000 staff just announced. This is to address the crisis in unanswered calls to Centrelink (55 million in 2017); but rather than employ more trained, accountable public servants with job security and fair pay and conditions, there are instead casualised staff earning roughly half of what Centrelink staff get for performing the same work.
Amy reminded the meeting that only five years ago all service delivery work was done by employees of the Department of Human Services, and there were no casual employees in the department.
The CPSU is campaigning to scrap the arbitrary staffing level cap put in place by this government, which forces the privatisation of work out to consultants and contractors. This is a fight across the public service and help is needed.