Tasmania struggles with an expensive system | Examiner



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As a nation, Australia has faced a few difficult years from bushfires to a global pandemic, and through it all, the importance of our public service has never been clearer. Whether it’s Centrelink workers putting in overtime to make sure workers on leave can get food on the table, or the tax office administering JobKeeper to keep thousands of Australian businesses running. , the Australian community would not have weathered the storm that was COVID without the tireless and exceptional work of the Australian Public Service (APS). But, as good as the work of our APS is, cracks are forming as opportunities to support communities and spend taxpayer dollars more efficiently are missed. A key example of this is the ever increasing use of expensive labor hiring practices in APS. Between 2013 and June 2021, excluding NDIA (an agency where half of its workforce is employed through the hiring of labor), $ 11.5 billion was paid to companies of rental of labor. Today, the APS has at least 20,000 salaried workers who are employed alongside the permanent staff of the APS. These employees, for the most part, do exactly the same work as their directly employed colleagues. However, only because of their form of employment, they are significantly more expensive for the taxpayer, while the employees themselves receive lower wages and conditions. Why is this ridiculous waste of money happening, you will ask? The answer is: In 2013, the newly elected coalition government introduced arbitrary staffing caps that limited the number of directly employed civil servants to 2007-2008 levels. This has forced agencies and departments to privatize or resort to costly labor recruitment agreements to ensure they have sufficient staff to meet the needs of the public. It is difficult to know exactly how widespread the recruitment of labor is. The federal government, for reasons alone, chooses not to systematically report this data. However, the PCUS is aware of at least 350 labor hire workers in Tasmania and estimates put the actual figure closer to 500. PCSU research shows that labor hire companies Worker routinely charge the taxpayer 20 to 50 percent more than the hourly rate of a directly employed equivalent. civil servant while paying their workers less. Not only are these employment practices insanely expensive, but they are also used as a tool to drive down wages in the public and private sectors, with large profits being skimmed off by multinational labor recruiting companies – money that will never be spent in our communities from now on. It is no secret that many of these companies employ extremely aggressive tax practices and pay low taxes in Australia. A good government would lift artificial ceilings on direct employment and reduce its dependence on labor contracts. He could then use those same savings to create additional secure jobs while reducing costs to the taxpayer. There is also the possibility of dispersing these jobs throughout regional Tasmania, especially in areas that do not receive a fair share of APS jobs. The 2016 census showed that the Braddon and Bass electorates make up 38.2% of the total population of Tasmania. Yet based on the APS workforce as of June 2021, only 15.1% of the 3,828 federal civil service jobs in Tasmania are located in northern Tasmanian electorates. The costs of commercial real estate, particularly in northwest Tasmania, are among the lowest in the country and would save the government significant amounts of money. The pandemic has shown that the old technical obstacles to remote work teams in the public service are now almost non-existent. Last year, at the height of the pandemic, 69% of all APS staff (excluding Services Australia) were successfully working remotely. While the Morrison government has spoken of a big game when it comes to regional jobs and decentralization, the evidence so far is to the contrary. Between December 2013 and December 2020, the number of civil service jobs in the Australian region actually fell by 7.9%. Research conducted by the Australia Institute on the transfer effect of civil service jobs to local communities shows that for every APS job created, there is a multiplier effect of 1.68 jobs created in Tasmania. The case for investing in APS jobs in northern Tasmania has never been clearer. The people of northern Tasmania are clamoring for career opportunities and secure work. A public service jobs hub in northern Tasmania could turn money wasted on expensive labor hires into secure jobs that support the region. As a company, we have achieved what unites us. It is clear from the past two years that the Australian community would not have been able to meet many of its recent challenges without the dedicated and exceptional work of the Australian Public Service. It is time to get our money’s worth and choose safe work and better service in the regions over expensive labor contracts.





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