Centrelink staff the target of job cut frustration

JOB cuts in state governments has led to more verbal abuse being hurled at Centrelink staff in recent months, the Community and Public Sector Union has warned.

The union said, over the past 17 months, there were more than 6500 reports of aggression towards staff, according to figures the union obtained from Centrelink.

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood warned the Federal Government against any more cuts as the government looked for more budget savings.

"If the government is serious about tackling aggression against people in Centrelink offices then what is needed is more staff not more cuts," she said.

"These cuts are hurting everyone, not just the staff who are having to take on the extra load but the public who are being forced to wait longer.

"We would urge all Centrelink and Medicare customers to be patient and avoid taking their frustration out on staff who are trying to do their best in a difficult situation."

Human Service Minister Senator Kim Carr last week also voiced his concerns about rising violence in Centrelink centres around the country.

"The advice that I've received suggests that the problem is increasing and we have urged all staff to be more proactive in reporting incidents of violence," he told a Senate estimates committee.

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