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Human services at breaking point

CENTRELINK, Medicare, CSA and other DHS agencies are swamped, according to a recent CPSU survey of over 940 Workplace Delegates that showed staff are struggling to serve customers, with budget cuts and responses to floods to blame.

81.8 % report that waiting times for customers have increased; 77.8% report workloads and targets have increased; 71.8% report they have experienced more customer complaints; and 71.3% report they have experienced more customer hostility.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said the union was deeply concerned that Government may cut Centrelink and Medicare even further in the upcoming Budget.

“I’m not sure many Australians would support a Budget surplus delivered at the expense of essential frontline services,” Ms Flood said.

The CPSU collected DHS Delegate comments, including the following:

“As a manager I suffered a heart attack in part due to increased work place pressure.”

“We are booking customers into follow up appointments sometimes 14 days away. So, many customers are waiting up to 26 days. Many are already in hardship. Some are going into offices to see if they can be seen earlier, putting more pressure on offices as they already have full bookings.” “We have had to employ a security guard for the first time ever.”

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