Threat of job cuts sparks protests in lead up to NSW Budget

FEARS that more jobs could be on the chopping block have fuelled protests across Sydney as NSW waits for Tuesday's State Budget to be revealed.

Treasurer Mike Baird has remained tight-lipped about whether last year's "tough times" plan to shed 10,000 more public service positions over four years will be expanded to include a rumoured 20% of middle management jobs across the state.

Public Service Association general secretary Anne Gardiner said members from within government ranks were telling her regional NSW could be hit the hardest.

At least 50 jobs on the NSW North Coast are believed to be in the firing line.

The Government Sector Employment Bill, currently before NSW Parliament, could make way for further cuts.

Hundreds of union members gathered in Macquarie St to voice their opposition to the legislation on Monday morning.

A 12,000-signature petition, claiming the bill would remove job security and undermine the independence of public servants, was expected to be tabled in the afternoon.

Ms Gardiner said the bill would make it easier to sack people and contract out work while making it harder for public servants to "stand up for community interests".

"A casualised and diminished public service, without transparency or job security, cannot deliver the public services and police that NSW needs," Ms Gardiner said.

"These cuts are going to have long-term consequences on communities and local economies particularly in region NSW where the impact of job losses is often felt most."

Since the O'Farrell Government came into power, 15,000 public service cuts have been flagged.
The budget will be handed down at noon Tuesday.

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