Qld government plans big job cuts

Alex Scott addresses a union rally. Photo: Together.org.au

Queensland public service union Together has called a stopwork rally on May 1 over the new Liberal National Party (LNP) government's threat of forced retrenchments.

ABC Online said on April 25, Together had launched a new campaign to give workers a voice in the government's “restructure of departments”.

The ABC reported that Together secretary Alex Scott said the LNP had said before the election there would be no forced retrenchments.

But now, he said: “A number of long-term temporaries who would be permanent in any other workforce are being forcibly retrenched and receiving retrenchment packages as a result of the death by 1000 cuts that is currently occurring.

“With the delayed state budget, we are very concerned that retrenchment packages are being forcibly put on people in the public sector at the moment in contravention of commitments made by the LNP.”

The April 27 Courier-Mail said: “Public service sources said a climate of fear now surrounded workers on temporary contracts, with a freeze on extensions meaning many whose contracts expired after the March 24 poll are set to join the ranks of the unemployed.”

The Courier-Mail said Scott accused the government of “using a 'blunt instrument' to force workers into unemployment”.

About 40,000 public service workers are employed on contracts, about 20% of the workforce.

Liam Flenady, Socialist Alliance candidate for the April 28 South Brisbane by-election, said: “Premier Campbell Newman's public service job cuts are clearly part of an all-out offensive against the public sector being planned by this LNP regime. The Queensland labour movement will need to mobilise in force to fight these cuts, which are set to worsen when Peter Costello's plan for a war on the state sector is released in the coming year.”

Comments

Due to the FREEZE of Mr Newman, I will most likely go back two pay rates from an Acting Admin Officer 6 to an Admin officer 4. Unfair as I applied for and got this role fairly, This kind of action is effecting approx half of my unit of 10. Hope my dogs like Home Brand...

At least you will still have a job and can ride this out until things settle down again!!! I have been in government for 4 years, working my way up from Admin Officer 3 to 5. I have always bugged my bosses about becoming a permanent but each of my positions were 'owned' by a permanent employee either on leave or higher duties. With my temp placement coming to an end 30 June I won't be getting any maternity leave. I will be 6.5 months pregnant so can't exactly look for another job! The Liberal government has managed the whole process extremely poorly. P.S. I don't suppose you want to take on 2 more dogs...

Until Friday I worked for the Sentencing Advisory Council. On Friday at midday, we received a phone call from the Assistant Director-General of DJAG saying she was calling a meeting at 12.30 (in half an hour) and wanted all staff to attend.

At 12.30 the staff of the Secretariat which supports the Sentencing Advisory Council were told the Council was being disbanded and we no longer have our jobs.

We were given a choice - a 'payout' figure, or a new job (which in my case is nowhere near equivalent to my level even though I am permanent full-time). We are expected to report to our new workplaces in 3 days - Wednesday.

We have been given two days to pack up the office and our desks.

We have no idea who or what to expect in our new positions, but as I have been placed in an AO6 role (I am an AO8 Manager), it is clear the roles have not been matched to our level of experience or skills. Some of the research staff have been placed in roles where their research skills will not be used.

So why aren't people talking about our fates? Why isn't anyone worried about the thousands of permanent staff whose lives are being turned upside down?

How am I going to pay my mortgage if the cuts mean there are no jobs available at my level, and I am competing against hundreds of other sacked public servants (Temp and permanent) for very few jobs outside the public service?

I am single and have no husband to fall back on.

Why don't you start asking some questions about what the 'Together' union is doing to help us, why they are just standing back and allowing this to happen? They haven't even contacted us.

Two other offices were also abolished on Friday too. I hope we'll be the last, but I doubt it.

If you don't "own" the position you should have no expectation of it being handed to you. You should be greatful for the experience that has been offered to you during your temporary roles. The word "contract" is misleading, it implies an obligation that doesn't exist, you have simply been moved to another position for a period of time. Either you or your employer may terminate the temporary arrangement at two weeks notice. This sense is entitlement is rife in the public service, I hate to be the one to break it to you but you are part of the problem. And before you reply, yes, I was impacted by the EMP, I was acting in a temp role for three and a half years and was moved down three pay levels to the job I "own". I never built my lifestyle around a temporary income though.

You all whinged about Anna so voted in Mr Newman..Good on ya. He is more for himself than anyone before. He could run the council so you have him running the State. We are in limbo waiting for my husbands department to be closed down. The casuals have gone, who is next. In place will be a contracted company which will cost much more than this small department which was started over 35 yrs ago. After 34 yrs of faithful service, we will get pittance with minimal super to boot. Once again good on ya for voting for him.

What comes through loud and clear is the sense of entitlement to cushy job for life. Wake up people the world doesn't owe you a living!

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