State of the NSW Public Sector Report

The 2013 Report released this week.

The Public Service Commissioner has released its independent State of the NSW Public Sector Report 2013 and the accompanying Workforce Profile Report 2013.

This follows the inaugural report released last year, which as reported at the time revealed issues especially with the alleged incidence of bullying and harassment in the workplace.

The problem lingers despite the response made by the Public Service Commissioner Mr Graeme Head in this regard to last year’s report.  As he notes in his forward: 

Workplace culture, and the reflection of NSW public sector values in that culture, is a major theme underpinning reform development and implementation. Last year I reported on perceptions of public sector employees about bullying in their workplaces. The picture painted was a concerning one, with almost one-third of respondents to the first sector-wide People Matter Employee Survey saying that they had personally experienced bullying in the workplace in the previous 12 months.

In response to these findings, I directed all agency heads across the sector to provide me with information detailing what they are doing to understand the extent of the problem in their respective workplaces and what measures they either had in place or were planning to address the issue. This was the first time I had used the Public Service Commissioner’s directions power since the office was established.

The responses show that agencies across the sector have a wide range of initiatives in place focused on preventing and managing bullying. What is not clear, however, is whether there is any clear link between what appear to be more comprehensive or sophisticated initiatives and the prevalence of the problem in those agencies. The Public Service Commission is committed to supporting the sector in tackling this issue.

To this end, I have recently invited Unions NSW to join me and other public sector leaders in a close examination of what can be done to promote workplace cultures that are free of bullying and ensure that procedures for dealing with problems, where they do arise, are fair to all parties and allow for a speedy resolution of issues.

ASMOF will be reviewing the report and participating in discussions on the report.  If you wish to make a direct contribution, you can do so via an anonymous online survey.