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To: PM Scott Morrison
I Support Australian STEM
1. Change the rules so that STEM professionals in the Australian Public Service can negotiate with the real decision makers at work.
STEM professionals need a genuine voice in our departments and agencies. We need to be able to provide frank and fearless advice, for the good of all Australians. The government must stop politicising science, engineering and technical advice.
2. Agree to a real pay rise
Wages are stagnating for working people across society. In real terms, wages for STEM professionals in the Australian Public Service have been going backwards following lengthy enterprise bargaining disputes, sometimes resulting in years without any wage increases.
3. Address staffing, outsourcing and contracting to rebuild STEM capacity.
To rebuild STEM capacity the Government must remove its staffing cap and enable departments to build the STEM workforce they need, to do the job they have to do. Core STEM work and technical oversight needs to be done by in house, direct employed professionals to ensure that Australia owns our own technical skills without having to blindly rely on for-profit contractors.
Why is this important?
Great societies have well run, smart public services. STEM expertise in the Australian Public Service is vital so that our country can deliver the infrastructure, technical outcomes and public policy that Australians expect and deserve.
STEM professionals are under increased pressure to deliver, while across the country staffing numbers are cut, funding is slashed and the voices of our scientists, engineers and technical experts are ignored.
We see the results all around us –scientific advice ignored, project overruns, waste, cost blow outs. At the same time wages are stagnating, conditions are reduced, and job security is diminishing. We need to restore STEM capacity in the Australian Public Service and create a public service where professional expertise is respected as the key enabler it is, not an overhead to be cut.