Gary bemoans loss of PS ‘plant power’

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Senator Gary Humphries.
Senator Gary Humphries.
COMMONWEALTH Public Service employees have returned to their workplaces to find the New Year has been marked with a deterioration of workplace conditions due to Labor’s Budget cuts, claims act Liberal Senator Gary Humphries.

He cited advice from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship that revealed that in just over four months the department had removed more than two thirds of the plants that formerly adorned its offices.

“Despite having reneged on their promise to deliver a Budget surplus, Labor’s cuts are still having a very real and very visible impact on the APS”, ” Humphries said.

“Labor may want to call cuts to the APS an efficiency dividend, or in this case an ‘accommodation realignment exercise’, but public servants aren’t falling for it – they know these are just code words for cuts”.

He said a range of studies had shown that having plants in the workplace increased morale and productivity, with one study showing productivity in an office increased 12 per cent and employees’ blood pressure and stress levels were lowered.

“When you’re working inside an office block for most of the day, it’s important that conditions are comfortable and welcoming for workplace productivity and for morale,” the Senator said.

“Our public servants do a great job, a lot of the time under pressure. It is not fair to whittle away at their workplace conditions and expect the same level of enthusiasm and workplace satisfaction.

“Public servants deserve to know in advance about their conditions of employment rather than finding out by surprise with each new slash to their area budget.”


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