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The voice of business in Canberra

How do we feel about the public service?

By johnboy 19 July 2011 41

The Centre for Policy Development is touting their latest research “Attitudes towards the public service” of which an extract is available.

Here’s the skinny:

    • Most Australians support government exercising an active role in society and the economy.

    • There is strong community preference for public (rather than private) sector agencies delivering services including transport, policing, health and education.

    • Outsourcing and privatisation occur despite and contrary to these preferences.

    • Australians are generally supportive of increased public service funding, even if that means paying higher taxes.

    • A majority of citizens express reservations about the current bipartisan determination to return the Australian budget to surplus as soon as possible. Surveys indicate that this is not widely supported if it comes at the expense of adequately funded public services.

    • Surveys indicate a higher level of confidence in public service agencies than major companies.

    • Agency surveys provide an inadequate assessment of client satisfaction.

    • The mainstream media communicates primarily negative stereotypes of public servants.

    • Australian politicians reinforce these stereotypes, expressing distinctly less positive attitudes toward the public service than those of other community members: they are less likely than citizens to express satisfaction, confidence or willingness to fund and regularly invoke very negative stereotypes.

    • Studies of APS employees toward their workplaces and employers present contradictory impressions. Surveys administered by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) present a largely positive picture including high levels of employee satisfaction, motivation and sense of personal accomplishment. These surveys also indicate that many APS employees feel that their agencies discourage innovation and that their interactions with Ministers and other elected representatives are often difficult.

    • Surveys conducted by the Commonwealth Public Sector Union (CPSU) present a significantly less positive impression. For instance, a significant proportion of female public servants report their work-life balance difficulties and bullying in their workplaces

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How do we feel about the public service?
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shadow boxer 11:35 am 25 Jul 11

Thanks Classified, there are some idiots in the PS and you may have come across one of them.

Don’t totally give up on it as a career though, personally I find the pursuit of public policy and helping people far more rewarding than the endless pursuit of the $$’s.

It depends what drives you but stick at it and you will find lots of areas in the PS where people are doing meaningful, important work and striking a nice family/work balance.

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