Save our jobs: public service

By Angela Dorizas

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has launched an unprecedented campaign to protect public sector jobs and services from arbitrary budget cuts.

A key part of the campaign is a 30 second television ad which went to air last night, claiming that the global economic downturn had put more pressure on public servants and essential services, such as Centrelink.

CPSU director of campaign and communications, Dermot Browne, told GovernmentNews that now more than ever the Federal Government needs to protect public sector jobs.

"Essentially what we’re trying to do is raise awareness of the effects the Government’s ongoing budget cuts are having on jobs and services," he said.

"What we’re arguing is that at this time it’s even more important than ever and there are a couple of reasons for that, one is that there are a lot more people relying on government services, for example Centrelink."

Browne said the CPSU had made direct representation to the Federal Government with a Budget submission, but the television ad was needed to go an “extra mile and bring it home”.

"The reception seems to be very good. We’re getting lots of positive feedback from a whole range of places, so that’s great", he said.

"How much effect that haves depends on how well the rest of the campaign goes and what happens to the economy."

CPSU national secretary Stephen Jones has called on the Rudd Government to practice what it preaches when it comes to retaining jobs.

"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is right to be urging business leaders to do whatever they can to prevent job losses," Jones said in a statement.

"But to be meaningful, this call must also apply to his own public sector workforce. In the current economic climate, every job matters."

He said last year the Prime Minister increased the ‘efficiency dividend’ or funding cut on public sector agencies from 1.25 per cent – a figure which had been imposed by successive federal governments since the 1980s – to 3.25 per cent, cutting more than $400 million from the Australian Public Service (APS).

The CPSU will continue to pressure the Government to protect essential services in the lead up to the Federal Budget in May.

Watch the CPSU television campaign.

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