The ASU is well known for our strong opposition to outsourcing public services.
From local government to the water industry, the ASU supports public services being provided by people directly employed by publically accountable bodies.
The outsourcing of services in Australia has followed a trend set in the United Kingdom kicked off by union busting Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
And every day, Australian communities are seeing the negative effects of outsourcing.
When service delivery is contracted-out, workers, service users, and the general community all lose out. Jobs become insecure, pay rises are harder to come by, and pressure on workers increases.
At each attempt to outsource in our industries, we stand up and fight for secure jobs and high quality services.
But our union isn’t only working to end outsourcing – we have a positive agenda that supports insourcing – and our advocacy is starting to see results.
One example of the failure of outsourcing has been seen at Barwon Water where the water authority was forced to purchase the outsourced service provider because of poor service delivery and a loss of control over work performed.
As a wholly owned subsidiary of Barwon Water, workers at Baron Asset Solutions have returned to secure, well paid, public sector jobs.
Over coming months we will be highlighting positive examples where direct employment is coming back in-house. This is a trend we want to support across all our industries.
A similar trend is being seen in the UK where local authorities are bringing services back in-house and a major political party has pledged to push for further insourcing of local government services and services interacting with vulnerable people.
When services are delivered by public bodies, like local councils and publically owned water corporations, the motivation is delivery of a service to the public rather than shareholder profit.
This delivers higher quality services. And critically, workers have more secure jobs, career paths through an organisation, and are able to bargain fairly with their employer.