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South Australian essential workers in the public sector have told the Marshall Liberal Government it must address rampant understaffing, reject any further privatisations and renounce cuts to vital services in tomorrow’s SA Budget.

“Public sector health, aged care and disability support workers have had enough of being understaffed, seeing poor service in privatisations, and seeing hours for vital aged care services being cut back,” Paul Blackmore, United Workers Union public sector coordinator said today.

“The reward for essential workers who turned up every day through Covid-19 should not be reduced hours, understaffing and higher workloads.

“The fact hours have been cut in aged care facilities should raise concerns about the ability of workers to provide the necessary quality of care.”

Last month members launched their Secure Jobs for Essential Workers campaign.

More than 1400 people have now signed a petition calling on the Marshall Government to support essential SA public sector workers and commit to secure jobs.

“The SA Government continues to turn its back on these workers who have been calling for adequate staffing,” Mr Blackmore said.

Public sector workers are demanding no further outsourcing or privatisation, no staff cuts, a fair wage increase and special Covid-19 provisions including paid pandemic leave and measures to ensure adequate staffing levels.

United Workers Union delegate and hospital food services professional Jas said the SA Budget needed to give workers confidence their demands would be met,

“I would like to see an end to the understaffing – they have stopped hiring permanent staff and are only getting short-term contracts,” Jas said.

“The impact of understaffing is putting that much extra work on the workload – people are getting very stressed at work.

“With the increase in short-term contracts people are not even sure they are going to have a job.

“If you keep putting more workload, how do you expect a worker to provide the same level of service?”