The Community and Public Sector Union is claiming budget cuts and uncertainty following sackings have lead to widespread bullying in the sector.

The National Secretary of the CPSU says an increasing number of workers have identified bullying and harassment by their managers to undertake ever-increasing workloads as a major psychological strain.

Conditions are reportedly at their worst in the Department of Human Services (which operates agencies like Centrelink and Medicare), which has lost over 4000 positions in the last three years due to budget cuts, they also say they have seen an increase in abusive behaviour from the general public.

CPSU Secretary Nadine Flood quoted the findings of Peter Hanks QC in a review of workers compensation laws, saying it is: “reasonable to suggest that a principal explanation for the increased incidence of psychological injury claims can be found in the increasing demands placed on employees through such mechanisms as efficiency dividends, constant performance evaluation and the restructuring of employment arrangements.”

An uncertain future awaits many public sector workers, with an election at the end of this year and constant cuts across departments. Reports have shown a 30 per cent increase in allegations of psychological injuries in the last three years, and that federal public servants are four times more likely to claim for workers compensation for mental stress than workers in other industries.