Centrelink privatisation exposed

Last week, our DHS campaign hit the headlines when The Guardian wrote an expose on the Coalition Government’s plan to send 1000 Centrelink jobs to labour-hire companies.

CPSU members have been campaigning hard for decent jobs and better public services, and so far our campaigning has stopped the privatisation of Medicare and won 2000 extra permanent jobs in DHS. But we need to keep going to stop the privatisation of our social safety net.

The public is on our side – the Guardian story has been widely shared, social media is taking the Government to task, and community organisations like St Vincent De Paul have condemned the Government’s move.

You can get involved in our campaign  by coming along to one of our planning sessions coming up over the next week:

Thursday 30 November

Adelaide 5:30-7:30

Saturday 2 December

Sydney 11am-3pm

Melbourne 11am-3pm

Perth 1pm-5pm

Tuesday 5 December

Canberra – 5:30pm-7:30pm

Darwin – 5:30pm-7:30pm

Hobart – 5pm-7pm

For more details and to RSVP, email proudtobepublic@cpsu.org.au.

If you can’t make it to one of these sessions, you can get involved by:

  1. Signing the proud to be public petition here 

  2. Telling your friends, family and community what is happening and ask them to sign and share the proud to be public petition

  3. Liking, and getting likes for Proud to be Public on facebook

  4. Sharing this email with work colleagues and ask them to join the CPSU to help us win. 

Background – the start of a big campaign 

The labour hire announcement comes after a recent Government decision to pay the multinational Serco to operate a 250 staff Centrelink call centre.

CPSU has called these announcements for what they are – the start of a push to privatise Centrelink. These attempts at privatisation are scandalous. No one should make a profit off Centrelink debts – especially not labour-hire companies, who pay disgustingly low wages and skim the profits for themselves.

When the Serco story broke CPSU launched community and political actions to build opposition to the Government’s plan. We have had a great response - 20,000 petition signatures, thousands of dollars donated by community supporters to fund the campaign, more than 50,000 views of our Facebook video, and a Senate motion to condemn the use of Serco.

The work we have done about Serco is the platform to launch a major campaign.

A campaign for all of us

Labour hire, and the Government’s ASL cap, is an issue in many workplaces. Capping Average Staffing Levels is driving lots of public service jobs to contracting and labour-hire. All Australians benefit from a strong social safety net. Therefore, it is in all our interests to campaign together to stop the privatisation of Centrelink and stop the use of labour hire in the APS.

The CPSU is campaigning hard for decent public service jobs across Australia. Last month CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood published an opinion piece calling for full employment and for the Turnbull Government to do its job and support decent employment opportunities and good public services for all of us.

Stopping Serco and labour-hire will be hard. But our recent successes in stopping the privatisation of Medicare, saving ARENA, stopping the ASIC registry sell off and keeping Australian Hearing in public ownership all show that when we build public support we win.