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Anyone care about the public servants losing their jobs?

By 16 May 2014 39

There is so much media coverage around the sacking of pilots or car factory workers or pensioners, what about those 16,000 people (many will have to go by Oct this year). These are people with families, people who need to pay for kids’ tuition fees, their medical bills, and morgage.., etc. Look at newspapers, Tvs, no one mentions them much, as if  public servants are a different species!!!

 

 

 

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39 Responses to Anyone care about the public servants losing their jobs?
#1
justsomeaussie8:11 am, 16 May 14

Largely the public doesn’t care because it knows how much fat and waste come from within the public service. Why should your job be protected over a worker at a store that has to downsize? In essence you are taking money from the store work’s tax pocket for your pay.

Want to improve efficiency in the public service? How about start by making people accountable for their jobs. Don’t perform? Then you are out on your ear like any other job. The inability for the APS to sack underperforming staff is appalling and it breeds inefficiency.

The second thing you can do is to block the internet access as many of you are now on work time reading a non work related website.

Get back to work!

#2
Jivrashia11:02 am, 16 May 14

justsomeaussie said :

The second thing you can do is to block the internet access as many of you are now on work time reading a non work related website.

I’m writing a document, and need some time in between to rest my brain, by reading things that don’t really challenge my intellect. :P

As for the impact of 16,000 APS jobs going, well as a Canberran one would definitely feel it, because all these people will then be applying for the already few jobs available. And the sudden boost in the unemployment rate in Canberra will affecting retail stores around here, as they will have lesser patronage.

Canberra has been having a good time for the last few years, but now is the time to brace yourself for the chill.

morgage
Just reminded me of this ANZ ad…
“That is incorrect!”

#3
VYBerlinaV8_is_back11:13 am, 16 May 14

Anyone know how many of these cuts will be for Canberra-based staff? At least 50%, I’d guess.

#4
HiddenDragon11:56 am, 16 May 14

To the extent that redundancies truly are voluntary, the effect on individuals and their families should be less severe. That said, I do feel sorry for people who moved to Canberra in the last few years specifically to take up a PS job which is now being chopped – particularly if they bought into the Canberra property market and may now be stranded with very limited employment prospects, and, possibly, a mortgage larger than the true market value of their home.

As others have pointed out on similar threads in the past, the cuts started under Labor – having presumably decided that thousands of the jobs which were hitherto necessary and affordable were no longer so – and are now being accelerated under the Coalition. This “concertina” approach to the expansion and contraction of the Canberra component of the federal PS really is pretty stupid and wasteful.

#5
Rollersk8r12:17 pm, 16 May 14

justsomeaussie said :

Largely the public doesn’t care because everyone is an expert on just how much fat and waste come from within the public service, compared to absolutely zero waste in all other enterprises.

Fixed that for you.

#6
justsomeaussie12:58 pm, 16 May 14

Rollersk8r said :

justsomeaussie said :

Largely the public doesn’t care because everyone is an expert on just how much fat and waste come from within the public service, compared to absolutely zero waste in all other enterprises.

Fixed that for you.

Yep, it’s this type of thinking (that there is no problem) is exactly why the public servace has a bad name.

I’ll ask you this, when was the last person you heard of who was fired for million dollar failure? Does anyone even admit to failure in the public service? Or can they not fail because every expensive single choice is outsourced to consultants because management is so risk adverse.

Meanwhile in the real world for the vast majority of us, if we screwed up a project and cost the company tens of thousands, we’d be out on our ear.

How about one day, departments take responsibilty for their staff’s actions and say yep, this person is hopeless they’ll be gone within a week.

#7
Rollersk8r2:41 pm, 16 May 14

justsomeaussie said :

Rollersk8r said :

justsomeaussie said :

Largely the public doesn’t care because everyone is an expert on just how much fat and waste come from within the public service, compared to absolutely zero waste in all other enterprises.

Fixed that for you.

Yep, it’s this type of thinking (that there is no problem) is exactly why the public servace has a bad name.

I’ll ask you this, when was the last person you heard of who was fired for million dollar failure? Does anyone even admit to failure in the public service? Or can they not fail because every expensive single choice is outsourced to consultants because management is so risk adverse.

Meanwhile in the real world for the vast majority of us, if we screwed up a project and cost the company tens of thousands, we’d be out on our ear.

How about one day, departments take responsibilty for their staff’s actions and say yep, this person is hopeless they’ll be gone within a week.

Generalise much? Because this one time I saw a group of roadworkers smoking and standing around. Sack the lot! We don’t need roads!

#8
justsomeaussie3:46 pm, 16 May 14

Rollersk8r said :

Generalise much? Because this one time I saw a group of roadworkers smoking and standing around. Sack the lot! We don’t need roads!

Well ok, when was the last time someone was sacked for blowing millions?

#9
dtc4:08 pm, 16 May 14

justsomeaussie said :

Rollersk8r said :

Generalise much? Because this one time I saw a group of roadworkers smoking and standing around. Sack the lot! We don’t need roads!

Well ok, when was the last time someone was sacked for blowing millions?

What do you mean ‘blowing millions’?

Do you mean ‘spending money on things you dont think money should be spent on’?

#10
JessicaGlitter4:52 pm, 16 May 14

Coming from a small business POV, I can’t emphasise enough how important it is for the Canberra community that the entire town feel confident and safe in their jobs. The 50% public servants are all going to stress at any talk of reducing the size of the service and the other 50% look at their cash registers or invoice statements and say we have less money because the community isn’t spending.

#11
justsomeaussie5:24 pm, 16 May 14

dtc said :

Do you mean ‘spending money on things you dont think money should be spent on’?

I mean tens to hundred million dollar project failures across ATO, Immigration, Defence just to name a few. Projects that haven’t delivered anything tangible and that are just pushed under the carpet so next year the department can get more money.

#12
dungfungus5:34 pm, 16 May 14

HiddenDragon said :

To the extent that redundancies truly are voluntary, the effect on individuals and their families should be less severe. That said, I do feel sorry for people who moved to Canberra in the last few years specifically to take up a PS job which is now being chopped – particularly if they bought into the Canberra property market and may now be stranded with very limited employment prospects, and, possibly, a mortgage larger than the true market value of their home.

As others have pointed out on similar threads in the past, the cuts started under Labor – having presumably decided that thousands of the jobs which were hitherto necessary and affordable were no longer so – and are now being accelerated under the Coalition. This “concertina” approach to the expansion and contraction of the Canberra component of the federal PS really is pretty stupid and wasteful.

I moved to Canberra over 30 years ago because it was one of few regions in Australia where there were jobs available in the private sector. I was then “offered a transfer” overseas which I declined so I was made redundant and I couldn’t get an interview anywhere. I was so desparate I even tried the PS who stated in the ad that they were seeking people with experience in the private sector. It became apparent during the interview that the selection committee didn’t have a clue what transpired in the outside world and when I said I wouldn’t hesitate to sack anyone who wasn’t performing the interview stopped abruptly as some of the people on the panel were traumatized. I didn’t get invited for a further interview and I ended up self-employed.
No regrets and no, I don’t care about public servants losing their jobs.

#13
Earl10:56 pm, 16 May 14

You know what’s worse than public servants? People who are so full of themselves they think they’re better than any pube just because they work in private industry / work for themselves. Fair enough to point out inefficiencies and ineffectiveness, but why the hatred for people who just happen to be employed by the government? Don’t understand it – and yes I have worked in private, public and for myself.

#14
JC11:52 pm, 16 May 14

justsomeaussie said :

Largely the public doesn’t care because it knows how much fat and waste come from within the public service. Why should your job be protected over a worker at a store that has to downsize? In essence you are taking money from the store work’s tax pocket for your pay.

Not a good analogy this one. Without the public service job there would be no money to spend, which would mean there is no demand for goods from the store, which would mean there is no money to pay this worker, who in turn wouldn’t have a job and rather than paying tax would also be putting their hand out for the dole. You do the sums.

#15
wildturkeycanoe7:51 am, 17 May 14

I care deeply for the public servants who are being sacked. Every one of them is going to get in the way of me finding a job, adding more competition to a job marketplace that is cut-throat already. If these public servants have to sell up and move into rental accommodation, that’s making things tougher for other potential tenants and no doubt the influx of applicants will drive the prices up too. These folks won’t be buying as much either, so suppliers of goods in Canberra will see a downturn, perhaps lay off staff because things get quiet and add even more pressure to the whole scenario. Where is the government’s job creation to soften the blow from these cuts?? If it’s light rail, it will be far too late to help out people this year, or next.

#16
Roundhead898:56 am, 17 May 14

It is remarkable to see the hypocrisy about this issue. Earlier this year when Ford, Holden and SPC were about to close, the knee-jerk reaction was that “the government should do something”. There were demands for assistance packages, the government finding the workers new jobs and tales of the fabric of Australia being destroyed by these closures. The government was forced to provide an assistance package costing over $100million.

When I was sacked from the PS twice in the 1980s and ’90s, nobody came to my aid with $100million or another job. The only “assistance package” I received was $180.00 per fortnight on the dole. During the recession we had to have in 1992 the Keating government came to my aid with the Working Nation/Jobstart scheme whereby long-term unemployed had their wages paid for six months if they found a job. When the Howard government came to power that scheme was scrapped.

I’m not saying we should have assistance packages for public servants who lose their jobs, just a bit of consistency. You can’t have the shock jocks and tabloids forcing the government to shower money and new jobs onto motor and factory workers who lose their jobs, yet when it happens to public servants the Daily Telegraph pulls out pictures of the Skywhale and recycles the old cliches about Canberrans being bludgers and a drain on the nation.

#17
mot7:19 pm, 17 May 14

The other funny thing is the government acts like they are being heroes saving tons of money for the budget deficit but by having 16000 redundancies they are spending 100s of millions in golden handshakes.

I wonder what the average payout for a redundancy + leave etc works out to be x 16,000.

#18
OpenYourMind8:01 pm, 17 May 14

justsomeaussie said :

Rollersk8r said :

justsomeaussie said :

Largely the public doesn’t care because everyone is an expert on just how much fat and waste come from within the public service, compared to absolutely zero waste in all other enterprises.

Fixed that for you.

Yep, it’s this type of thinking (that there is no problem) is exactly why the public servace has a bad name.

I’ll ask you this, when was the last person you heard of who was fired for million dollar failure? Does anyone even admit to failure in the public service? Or can they not fail because every expensive single choice is outsourced to consultants because management is so risk adverse.

Meanwhile in the real world for the vast majority of us, if we screwed up a project and cost the company tens of thousands, we’d be out on our ear.

How about one day, departments take responsibilty for their staff’s actions and say yep, this person is hopeless they’ll be gone within a week.

There’s plenty of examples of CEOs whose companies go down the gurgler under their leadership and they still command multi million dollar salaries. Yes, the Government can make some shocker mistakes and misjudgements, a big difference is there’s a lot more accountability and transparency.

#19
dungfungus8:45 pm, 17 May 14

Earl said :

You know what’s worse than public servants? People who are so full of themselves they think they’re better than any pube just because they work in private industry / work for themselves. Fair enough to point out inefficiencies and ineffectiveness, but why the hatred for people who just happen to be employed by the government? Don’t understand it – and yes I have worked in private, public and for myself.

Yes, I’ve met a few people like that too.

#20
JC10:43 pm, 17 May 14

mot said :

The other funny thing is the government acts like they are being heroes saving tons of money for the budget deficit but by having 16000 redundancies they are spending 100s of millions in golden handshakes.

I wonder what the average payout for a redundancy + leave etc works out to be x 16,000.

I would say the cost would be around $1-1.5 assuming each and every one left was given a VR, but not all will. That said that cost is then offset by the money saved from wages, assuming of course these people who get VR are not replaced by people on contract. Ultimately this is what happens, so it is all BS.

#21
Felix the Cat8:41 am, 18 May 14

Surely not all of these thousands of public positions can be surplus to requirements? The work will still need to be done by somebody, presumably by hiring some one as a consultant to do it (often the worker who has just been sacked/made redundant) so how does this save money?

By the time a redunduncy is paid and the process has been gone through to outsource this work and then the often inflated price is paid to the replacement consultant/company then it would actually work out much cheaper just to keep the original worker.

#22
wildturkeycanoe2:09 pm, 18 May 14

If jobs from the government are going, for example up to 400 from PM & C, http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service/up-to-400-jobs-to-go-at-prime-minister-and-cabinet-department-20140516-zrf7q.html , why are PM & C advertising for graduates to apply for jobs there, as I saw on a job site today? Get rid of the old dead timber and plant new seedlings? Hardly fair to those who are being told to go.

#23
justsomeaussie4:59 pm, 18 May 14

Felix the Cat said :

Surely not all of these thousands of public positions can be surplus to requirements? The work will still need to be done by somebody, presumably by hiring some one as a consultant to do it (often the worker who has just been sacked/made redundant) so how does this save money?

A lot of the time once things like HR, training courses, annual leave, sick leave are factored in it can still be cheaper to hire a contractor on 1.5-2 times the the salaried position salary. Plus you can sack problem contractors on the spot, which unsurprisingly you can’t do to a public servant.

If you look at days sick for example contractors are at the very low end of the sample, public servants fall the highest and everyone else in the middle.

Contractors can be very useful in set project work with a defined budget and defined timeframe.

Largely my issue with my experience with and around the public service is that for the most part most departments have done away with clerical type roles on clerical type salaries only to have APS6-EL1 people doing well below their knowledge level.

Only too often reports sent to higher with the only red pen coming back being stylistic changes rather than any actual content knowledge.

Every time I catch an EL1 spending all day worrying about font size and playing with MS PowerPoint I’m reminded that that person is a waste of time and of my tax money.

#24
milkman8:00 pm, 18 May 14

wildturkeycanoe said :

Hardly fair to those who are being told to go.

It’s a good opportunity to get rid of old, dead wood, and bring in some new ideas with a can-do attitude who cost a heap less.

#25
wildturkeycanoe9:58 pm, 18 May 14

milkman said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Hardly fair to those who are being told to go.

It’s a good opportunity to get rid of old, dead wood, and bring in some new ideas with a can-do attitude who cost a heap less.

Bingo! There’s the reason. Cost cutting by getting cheaper labor. If the government can do it, so can anyone. Whose it going to be next? Construction, manufacturing, retail, health services, law enforcement.

#26
JimCharles10:13 pm, 18 May 14

Felix the Cat said :

Surely not all of these thousands of public positions can be surplus to requirements? The work will still need to be done by somebody, presumably by hiring some one as a consultant to do it (often the worker who has just been sacked/made redundant) so how does this save money?

By the time a redunduncy is paid and the process has been gone through to outsource this work and then the often inflated price is paid to the replacement consultant/company then it would actually work out much cheaper just to keep the original worker.

It depends what the original worker is achieving.
A friend of mine worked as a contractor and reckoned the only ones actually achieving anything were self-employed on contractor rates. They were also the only ones to be found working on a Friday afternoon. She also found the multitude of Directors incomprehensible and thought some were completely useless for fulfilling the organisational objectives. A Director directs, you only need one of them.
Also, a bit of churn is good for an organisation….it can open up opportunities for younger staff who want to do more but are being held up by people sitting static in higher positions who aren’t being held accountable for anything, nor do they feel they want to do anything differently.
Public sectors all over the world were experts at protecting themselves. Sometimes the only way to force change is to cut budgets to such a level so they cannot hide anymore, are forced to transform and then come out with better performance and more fulfilling jobs for people. It’s happened elsewhere, now it’s Australia’s turn.

…and she found ones with Director job titles the worst culprits (in fact, she said they direct nothing and are only worth ignoring).

#27
BimboGeek9:12 am, 19 May 14

The only problem with decreasing the age of your staff is that the old deadwood are supposed to work til they are 70 now.

#28
VYBerlinaV8_is_back10:09 am, 19 May 14

wildturkeycanoe said :

milkman said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Hardly fair to those who are being told to go.

It’s a good opportunity to get rid of old, dead wood, and bring in some new ideas with a can-do attitude who cost a heap less.

Bingo! There’s the reason. Cost cutting by getting cheaper labor. If the government can do it, so can anyone. Whose it going to be next? Construction, manufacturing, retail, health services, law enforcement.

It’s a lot easier in business to identify dead wood, because costs and revenue can often be apportioned to staff efforts. It’s much harder to do this in government, though. The problem government also has is that those people who are either close to retirement, or able to find alternate employment are often the ones putting up their hands for the fabled VR package. Why not change jobs or retire early after a long career if it puts a couple of hundred thousand dollars (or more) into your wallet? Some people, especially the savers/investors, would be significantly closer to retirement should a VR be given.

#29
dungfungus10:54 am, 19 May 14

BimboGeek said :

The only problem with decreasing the age of your staff is that the old deadwood are supposed to work til they are 70 now.

That is totally incorrect and alarmist.
No one “has to work until they are 70″ now, or even at anytime. The “being 70″ refers to the age someone will have to reach to access the age pension. I think the 70 year old bracket is being phased in many years from now.
In any event, all people who are working now will have superannuation to retire on in 20 years time – so there should be no need for a taxpayer funded pension.

#30
BimboGeek11:01 am, 19 May 14

Sorry dungfungus, Poe strikes again! I was joking a bit but wanted to point out that there’s a bit of dischord between the two policies.

Obviously there are options, who knows a redundancy package may just pay off the mortgage leaving just enough savings to retire on.

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