Well, just days after a high profile meeting with PSA head Brenda Pilott and a promise to engage with unions John Key has decided to exclude the PSA from his Task Force on the future of the public sector.
The National/ACT government will instead appoint private sector consultants and private sector chairs to review government spending and the future of PSA members’ jobs, with the results likely to recommend major cutbacks and privatisation as they did in the ’80s and ’90s.
The PSA’s Brenda Pilott is not impressed:
“We are disappointed that Mr Key has now announced that the private sector will be represented and will chair these Task Forces, reviewing government spending, but the voice of 57,000 public sector workers is at this point excluded.”
Brenda Pilott says she is writing to Mr Key stating that she expects him to follow through with the indication given that the PSA would be included in the review of government spending.
“Mr Key talks of running an inclusive government but his actions in this area do not match his words,” says Brenda Pilott.
Pilott is right to be annoyed. She and her union were used by John Key as a PR opportunity to present himself as inclusive, centrist and non-threatening to workers, then as soon as the media moved on they were dropped and shut out of the process.
This kind of cynical behaviour might work in opposition, but when you’re government it doesn’t pay to needlessly make enemies – they have a nasty habit of coming back to bite you later on.