Bosswatch: Bank posts huge profit, while community services lose

Department cuts cost baby's life

A baby who was bashed to death near Wollongong had been reported to the Department of Family and Community Services twice in the weeks leading up to his death.

Community services staff walked off the job on August 9, in protest at the Barry O'Farrell government's cuts to their budget, which they say led to a “preventable death”.

The workers' union, the Public Service Association (PSA), said the cuts meant workers did "not have the resources" or time to visit the family and monitor the baby's welfare.

While community service staff received a second urgent call about the child's safety days before his death, the child died before a caseworker was free to check on him.

The government plans to cut almost 1000 jobs from the department, despite revelations that one in five reports of children at serious risk were not followed up last year. The Labor opposition revealed “more than 30 cases where a child known to the department has tragically died”. The PSA called on the government to fill caseworker vacancies and rule out further cuts.

CBA bags super profits

Despite complaining of “increased funding costs” when refusing to pass on interest rate cuts to help families struggling to pay off mortgages, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) bagged a massive record profit of $7.1 billion in the last financial year. CBA’s profit was up 11% on the previous 12 months, which was also a record year.

Australian banks emerged from the financial crisis as some of the most profitable in the world, propped up by the federal government's deposit guarantee. Yet they have still cut thousands of jobs.

Last year the big four banks — CBA, the National Australia Bank, Westpac and ANZ — cut 3300 jobs, but staggered them over 242 separate announcements to avoid bad publicity.

In May, CBA announced 100 job cuts in Melbourne. In January, UBS Securities predicted 7000 banking jobs would be cut over two years. The big four banks control more than 90% of Australia's lending market.

News’ photographers have Limited job prospects

Rupert Murdoch's News Limited will axe more than 15% of its photographers across its Australian newspapers.

The August 15 Age said the cut of up to 45 jobs is part of News' plan “to centralise its newsgathering operation and move to a seven-day-a-week roster in which editorial staff are expected to produce words and images across all of the publisher's titles”.

The photographer cuts follow the previous week's announcement of plans to cut 18 staff from The Australian's newsroom.

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance’s Paul Murphy told The Age: “The pattern of drip feeding redundancy announcements at News Ltd in recent months is a cause for great concern.”

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