Labor Commits to PS Workforce
Updated 4 months ago
VicLabor has just released commitments to utilise the capabilities of its own in-house workforce better and crackdown on consultants and labour hire including
implementing an appropriate restraint of trade period for former executive level public servants who seek to contract back.
CRACKDOWN ON PUBLIC SERVICE CONSULTANCIES AND LABOUR HIRE
The use of consultancies and labour hire spiked under the previous Liberal Government, after it cut 4,200 public service jobs and closed dozens of offices that were delivering frontline government services.
A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will cut waste by reducing the public service spend on labour hire and consultancies, while also promoting secure employment opportunities for Victorian workers. This will include imposing tough new rules on public service departments and agencies using labour hire or consultancy firms.
While the use of consultancies and labour hire is often justified, and has helped Labor deliver on our huge infrastructure program, we are determined to make savings.
That’s why a re-elected Labor Government will:
- Require public service departments and agencies to reduce their use of labour hire for certain roles by at least 25 per cent. Those roles will include project officers, business/finance officers, policy managers/officers, project/program managers and administrative/customer service roles.
- Require public service departments and agencies to reduce the use of consultancies on ‘”core business” by at least 50 per cent. Core business will include functions such as policy development, evaluation, business case development, strategy and organisational development, and engagement and facilitation. It will not include infrastructure design and development-related expenditure (for example architecture and engineering consultants).
VPS SKILLS EXCHANGE
In order to allow the public service to continue to fill temporary vacancies without the use of expensive labour hire firms, Labor will establish the Victorian Public Service Skills Exchange. The establishment of the VPS Skills Exchange will provide the mechanism to match existing skills and labour supply to skill needs and labour demand. It will replicate the service that external labour hire firms, by performing an in-house skills and labour matching service. The Skills Exchange will provide a pool of permanent public service staff, not tied to a particular role or department, to be used to fill temporary vacancies or labour needs for administrative functions such as customer service, admin officers and executive assistants. The Skills Exchange will also facilitate lateral movement of employees and opportunities to enhance capability and skill development, and will provide a mechanism for VPS staff to undertake temporary secondment opportunities. Labor will require that labour hire only be used where the VPS Skills Exchange is not able to provide resources to assist with labour shortages and all other internal options have been exhausted, as signed off by a Deputy Secretary or Secretary. Vacancies and opportunities will be required to be provided to the Skills Exchange, prior to consideration of external labour options. The establishment of the VPS Skills Exchange will be overseen by a Steering Committee, including representatives of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Department of Treasury and Finance, the Victorian Public Sector Commission, Industrial Relations Victoria and the Community and Public Sector Union.
TIGHTENING THE RULES
Labor will implement the following tough new measures in relation to the use of consultants and labour hire in the public service:
- Requiring that, from 1 July 2019, public service departments and agencies need sign-off by a Department Secretary to use consultancies for core business.
- Requiring that, from 1 July 2019, public service departments and agencies need sign-off by a Department Deputy Secretary or Department Secretary to use labour hire.
- Bringing the public service into line with the private sector, by reviewing and amending current arrangements to implement an appropriate restraint of trade period for former executive level public servants who seek to contract back to their former department or agency.
- Reviewing and amending current policies to ensure that public servants can’t award contracts to consultancy firms they have worked in and that firms are restricted from bidding for work in divisions where they have seconded employees.
- Restricting the use of paid facilitators by departments and agencies for internal meetings and events.
SECURE WORK IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE
Labor is committed to promoting and facilitating secure employment and job security in the Victorian public sector. That’s why a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will audit the current use of fixed-term and casual employment in the public service, with a view to understanding the drivers of the use of fixed-term and casual employment and the impact on secure jobs. Following the audit, Labor will develop a strategy in consultation with unions to maximise the use of ongoing and secure employment, including by consideration of a process for employee conversion to ongoing employment.
ELIMINATING THE GENDER PAY GAP
Labor is committed to reducing the gender pay gap, including in the public sector. That’s why a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will introduce a Gender Equality Bill to ensure that the gender pay gap in the Victorian Public Sector is eliminated. The Gender Equality Bill will require the Victorian Public Sector and local government to establish and transparently report on Gender Equality Action Plans, which will identify and require annual reporting on strategies to promote workplace gender equality. Strategies to eliminate the pay gap will reflect the gender pay equity principles developed by the Equal Workplaces Advisory Council.
ENSURING FAIRNESS IN BARGAINING
Labor is committed to bargaining respectfully and in good faith for fair enterprise agreements across the public sector. This includes recognising and respecting the rights of workers to join a union and the role of unions in representing their members in bargaining. That’s why Labor remains committed to achieving a level playing field in bargaining for all public sector workers through reintroducing and passing the Fair Work (Commonwealth Powers) Amendment Bill.