Strike action highlights government’s budget failure

Thousands of public servants will start rolling strike action around the country on Federal Budget day.

After a year of record job cuts, public servants are taking industrial action to protect their jobs, rights and conditions at work.

Just today the Government has announced even more public sector job cuts to the tune of a further $450 million.

The onset of the largest public sector strike action in a generation demonstrates the complete failure of the Abbott Government’s last budget and highlights the need for vision, investment and growth in tomorrow’s federal budget.

Unemployment has been at or above 6 per cent for the past eleven months – since a month after the Coalition Government delivered its disastrous first budget.

In that time, the government has cut 11,000 public service jobs, overseen the demise of Australia’s auto industry and talked down our manufacturing and ship building industries.

The federal government must use tomorrow’s budget to stimulate the economy and create new jobs.

Australian Unions are calling on the government to invest in infrastructure, skills and training, and the public sector to create new jobs and grow the economy.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said, “The government needs to deliver a budget for jobs and economic growth.

“The Abbott Government must use this budget to invest in infrastructure, skills and training, and the public sector to create new jobs and boost the economy.

“You can’t cut your way to economic growth and the unemployment figures clearly show that – the government needs to show some vision and leadership with this year’s budget and deliver a plan for jobs and growth.”

“The longer unemployment has a ‘6’ in front of it, the greater the risk Australia will develop entrenched, long-term unemployment.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said, “We have persistently high unemployment and a weak economy yet the Government has already cut 11,000 public sector jobs in the past year, a massive hit and the third straight year of cuts.

“You cut the public service and you end up cutting services for the public. It’s as simple as that.

“Public servants have seen their jobs cut and are now facing a bargaining position so draconian that no major private sector employer in Australia is offering worse – that’s why they are taking action in numbers not seen in a generation.

“This Government has gutted the Tax Office with 4400 jobs gone, decimated the CSIRO with 1 in 5 staff gone, and cut the ABC – all while unemployment is stuck firmly above 6 per cent and confidence in the economy is shot.”

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