of our state newspaper this morning was a story about the way in which the Commonwealth Public Service Union was 'bullying' members into voting Labor. I suspect that, even given the delight journalists take in exaggerating issues, there is more than a grain of truth in this story.
The CPSU is not apolitical. It would be unusual to find a union which is not aligned with the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the ACTU is heavily involved with the Australian Labor Party. That suits the ALP as the ACTU provides much of the ALP funding. (They can easily afford this because some of their own activities, such as their AEC run elections, are funded by the taxpayer. That is not going to change. The ALP does very nicely out of it and the unions only have to threaten strike action if the support is removed.)
There is however a problem when it comes to the CPSU because the public service is supposed to be apolitical. It is supposed to offer unbiased advice. It is unlikely that anyone really believes this. Some may even think it does not really matter very much.
I know any number of public servants and they have a range of political views. Those who do not vote Labor tend to keep their views to themselves, especially in the work place. One highly competent and very able young person has just been passed over for promotion again. This time she was verbally informed it was because she was not a member of the CPSU and, it was implied, her loyalty was suspect. How often such things occur I do not know but they should not occur at all. She is now looking for work outside the APS. They will almost certainly lose her but she will be the exception, not the rule. That matters. We are in increasing danger of an homogenised public service that does not offer a diversity of advice and experience to the government of the day. Political correctness and bias will rule because people will be too afraid of losing their jobs.
I am surprised that the article was hidden on page 17 - or perhaps that it appeared at all. Nothing is likely to change.