SA budget: ‘absolutely fabulous’ for public sector jobs

The South Australian government has decided not to reduce public sector staffing any further than already planned in its latest budget. Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis says current levels were “prudent” and further cuts would only cause harm.

The Public Service Association is very pleased to see yesterday’s South Australian budget contains no new staffing cuts or demands for greater efficiency from the state’s bureaucracy.

The government’s forward plans include an existing reduction of 2971 full-time equivalents (FTE) from the whole SA Government workforce by the end of the 2018-19 financial year. Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has described this as a “prudent” staffing level.

The state’s main public sector union said the SA bureaucracy was “already overstretched” and welcomed the news that it would not be squeezed any further. “Absolutely fabulous” is how secretary Jan McMahon reportedly described the decision to hold off on further workforce reductions.

But some have questioned whether the SA Government considers it a priority to reduce the size of its public service workforce. In last year’s budget, the Weatherill government said it would reduce headcount by 4015 FTE over four years.

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