15,000 employees sacked, 16,000 contractors employed: NSW government use of labour hire grows - Public Service Association

15,000 employees sacked, 16,000 contractors employed: NSW government use of labour hire grows


Thursday 28 February 2013

The use of short-term contract and labour hire workers has continued to grow under
the O’Farrell Government, as it promises to cut 15,000 permanent positions.

Figures obtained by the Public Service Association under the Government
Information Public Access (GIPA) Act show the number of labour hire staff engaged
in the NSW public sector grew from 11,976 in 2010-11 to 15,943 in 2011-12.
In its first year of government the O’Farrell Government spent nearly half a billion
dollars on labour hire employees; spending $492,270,285 up from $468,057,260 the
previous year.
The Coalition was a strong critic of spending on labour hire under the previous
Labor Government.

The growing use of labour hire means that that work carried out by experienced,
committed public servants is increasingly being outsourced to temporary workers on
short-term contracts, said PSA General Secretary Anne Gardiner.
“The PSA is very disappointed that the extravagant use of labour hire and short-
term contract workers in the NSW public sector is continuing to grow,” said Ms
“At the same time the NSW Government has plans to cut 15,000 experienced public
sector workers, it is engaging nearly 16,000 contract staff each financial year.”

Meanwhile the O’Farrell Government has announced it will introduce a new system
for procuring labour hire services, which would make it more difficult to track
expenditure and deliver less public accountability.

“As the O’Farrell Government cuts spending on public sector employment, it will
increasingly need to plug holes with short-term contract arrangements. The work
will still need to be done,” said Ms Gardiner.

“The NSW Government is the biggest employer in the state. It is doing the wrong
thing by employees, putting them out of permanent work, and the wrong thing by
taxpayers, hitting them with the cost burden of expensive private sector contracts.”
Comment: Senior Industrial Officer Anthony D’Adam 0419 995 342
More info: Jane Garcia 0434 489 533

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