Recently Cr Bradley Drew bragged that since his term on the Bass Coast Shire Council began, budgetary restraint had led to the loss of 20 staff.
As there are clearly not 20 less staff, I assume he means 20 EFT or in total hours worked or some measure; he wasn’t clear, but nonetheless said it as though it was something he and the current council should be congratulated for, or like it was a good thing that 20 people had lost their jobs.
Allow me to ask a question: why is it such a terrible thing when 20 private sector workers lose their jobs but such a triumph when 20 public sector workers lose theirs?
Why is the loss of people’s livelihoods seen as a thing to celebrate so long as they work in the public sector?
Over many years involvement with council I’ve never seen the staff sitting around doing nothing.
They are always working hard, developing and implementing policy most of which the general public is totally unaware, maintaining dozens of buildings in scores of parks and rec reserves and managing hundreds of kilometres of roads, pathways, and drainage networks, delivering HACC services, managing events, planning for urban growth, managing a hundred other policy areas and dealing with thousands of miles of state and federal government red tape.
They work hard for this community every single working day and without them nothing would happen and the place would grind to a halt.
It saddens me that some people in this community seem so overjoyed at the loss of other people’s jobs or hours.
Council workers are your neighbours, the people who shop locally, on the footy club committee, the parents of your daughter’s school friend.
What sort of person would rather see their neighbour lose their job rather than their rates go up by $50?
Let me make my position clear to the voters.
I will not support budget decisions which result in a reduction of the numbers or hours of staff, nor threaten their working conditions or rates of pay.
The answer to budgetary constraint is not cuts. The answer is in securing alternative sources of revenue and in finding technologically more efficient and cheaper solutions to existing problems.
I have an economic plan to deliver these outcomes.
Council workers who are confident that their jobs aren’t under threat are part of that plan, as they should be of every candidate’s plan.
Mikhaela Barlow, candidate for Western Port Ward.