Marching with colleagues reinforces our pride in the work we do for the people of NSW.
Looking at the sheer variety of marchers at the PSA Day of Action emphasised just how important our members are to the efficient operation of our state.
We are rightly proud of the role we played during the COVID-19 pandemic and the all-to-regular natural disasters that afflict our state. Our members did work no private company could perform.
But we were doing this before the state was hit with disasters, and we will be doing it long after. In times of good as well as bad, NSW needs an efficient Public Sector to make our state the excellent place it is to live and work.
A particularly vocal part of our crowd outside Parliament House was the contingent of Prison Officers. Having
served as an Officer for more than 30 years, I know how much these PSA members do for our state.
Incarceration is a vital service for the people of NSW. It ensures the public is protected from convicted offenders, and our prison system works to reduce recidivism. It is also an area the private sector has attempted to muscle in on.
In fact, as our Annual Conference heard in May 2022, NSW has, per capita, more inmate in for-profit prisons than the privatisation-obsessed US.
Our union represents members in our private gaols, and we know they are paid less and often have fewer Officers per inmate on shifts.
It is telling that Queensland, the first state in Australia to outsource correctives to the private sector, has realised this is a foolish way to run a prison system and has phased out incarceration for profit.
Prisons are just one of the many vital community functions we have proven are
performed better by the Public Sector. A pandemic proved our state-run health system is up to any challenge.
Our state schools continued to educate children in enormously trying circumstances.
Disasters such as floods and fires brought out public agencies such as the State Emergency Service and the Rural Fire Service to save life and property.
We have long known how vital we are to the state. It is a pity we had to take industrial action and march down Macquarie Street to make sure our state’s leaders catch on, too.