CPSU hypocrisy and dissembling on outsourcing


The Community and Public Sector Union was last night outed at Senate Estimates for outsourcing all of its Protected Action Ballots (PABs) in the current public service bargaining round to a private company instead of the Australian Electoral Commission. In doing so, it is threatening the jobs of its own members in the AEC. 

Evidence to Senate Estimates last night from the AEC confirms that:

  • there was no reason - logistical or legislative - that the AEC could not have conducted the recent PAB of Department of Human Services employees by postal ballot;
  • the decision to outsource was a deliberate "choice" by the CPSU, which publically suggested that the AEC couldn't do this PAB, because it was intent on conducting an electronic ballot;
  • the CPSU apparently did not even approach the AEC to conduct a recent PAB of Department of Veterans' Affairs employees;
  • the CPSU is also using this private company to conduct a PAB of Department of Agriculture employees;
  • the CPSU is itself paying to outsource these PABs to the private sector; and 
  • if continued, such a trend would impact the structure of the Electoral Commission. 

"The CPSU's hypocrisy and dissembling on outsourcing is now evident for all to see. Incredibly, it is using its own members' money to divert this work away from its members in the Electoral Commission to the private sector," Senator Seselja said today. 

"For months the CPSU has been running dishonest campaigns against outsourcing. It has criticised DHS’ outsourcing of call centre work, document storage and payments, alleging it threatens the jobs of APS employees.

"If this is so, then surely the CPSU’s use of the private Australian Election Company to conduct the protected action ballot of DHS, DVA and Department of Agriculture employees, equally threatens the jobs of Australian Electoral Commission employees. 

“Now the CPSU’s double standards have again been exposed. On one hand they continue to fight against outsourcing, while on the other hand they are using their own member’s funds to pay for a service that could have been done inside the public service,” Senator Seselja concluded.