Your work matters

Posted December 7, 2011 by Alex Scott

Last week our Union Council delegates put forward an agenda for what we all need to talk about in relation to the upcoming state election - why your jobs and the services you provide matter, and how you should be treated at work.

Delegates agreed, as I do, that this is a discussion worth having. You will recall I emailed you a few weeks ago with a link to a new campaign - Building Blocks for a  better public sector - here's where we are going to next with this campaign.

Politicians are starting to make announcements about their plans for the public sector - and you as workers should always be at the forefront at that discussion.

You've been saying for a long time now that the state government's wages policy of 2.5% - an increase well below inflation - is unsustainable, and it's great to see that politicians are starting to acknowledge this.

We are all also very concerned about job security for public sector workers and the security of the services you provide -making sure there are absolutely no forced retrenchments of workers or loss of key services for everyone in our community. This is a critical part of this debate.

In the context of a state election, the media are going to be focused on what politicians are doing. The challenge for us is to keep the focus on policies, and making politicians honest and open about what their plans for our public sector are.

There was an article in one paper yesterday that had a very misleading headline and an inaccurate representation of what we as a union are putting forward in this debate about the size of the public sector, but that's to be expected when media are looking to create conflict narratives and drama instead of focus on what outcomes are best for workers - that's our job. I should have expected that but that is why a positive campaign by us on our issues is so important. We can't expect to always get the headlines we want - but we can engage in the debate and put the focus on jobs and services at the centre. We want a race to the top on great policies for jobs and services in this upcoming election campaign.

The fact that political parties have already started talking about the future of the public sector is a tribute to the fact that your voice in this debate is a powerful force. We still want more detail, but an open debate about the best way to protect jobs and deliver services is certainly one that is worth having.

We need to be able to get our positive agenda out there however and that's why as a delegate group your Council have voted on putting forward key issues to all political parties backed up by a community campaign to ensure that your jobs and services remain key elements in the debate.

Nobody knows how important jobs and services are more than you - which is why, if you haven't already, you should have a look at the Building Blocks website and sign up to support the campaign for a stronger public sector and a focus on key services for our community.

During the upcoming state election, we as a union won't be campaigning for any political party directly or giving any of them money. But we will be asking the media and the community to keep focused on services for our community, on public sector workers' rights, on wages - on the things that we know matter - and campaigning about issues that matter to members.

Sign up to support the Building Blocks campaign today - because we need your voice to be heard in the discussion on how to build a better Queensland.

Ps. We've got some detail from the political leaders, which is encouraging, but we need to keep this pressure up. By signing up to the Building Blocks campaign we can help ensure that your voice, and the voice of your colleagues, are heard during this upcoming state election.


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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