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Blame Canberra?

By johnboy 16 April 2010 12

The Canberra Times is running hard with Gary Humprhies’ outrage after PM Kevin Rudd blamed Canberra for his ministers’ inability to retain staff:

”It’s probably like a dog year … so folks stay with me for three or four years, that’s probably 28 or 30 years or more in actual time,” he said. ”People get the opportunity to travel to Canberra, to live there, to stay there … from Sydney and Melbourne, and some of them are not entirely attracted by the Canberra lifestyle. They are separated from family, they go to Canberra and sometimes it actually has an impact on their lives, but it’s a tough job.”

Ministerial staff turnover

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Blame Canberra?
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Aeek 3:46 pm 17 Apr 10

Who here is going to blame ‘Canberra’ ? Obviously a few who should be first against the wall.

JessP 8:39 am 17 Apr 10

NickD said ‘ The turnover rates for ministerial staff don’t seem to be particularly bad in comparison to the average APS section, in which there’s normally about 100% turnover (albeit to other areas of the department or other agencies) every three years or so.’

You ar joking aren’t you??

NickD 6:27 pm 16 Apr 10

The turnover rates for ministerial staff don’t seem to be particularly bad in comparison to the average APS section, in which there’s normally about 100% turnover (albeit to other areas of the department or other agencies) every three years or so. Bear in mind that this is also the Rudd Government’s first term and a) many of the Ministerial staffers didn’t realise what they were signing up to and b) many of the Ministers didn’t realise what they needed from the staff. The seperation rates for ministerial staff were particularly high in the first months of the Government but seem to settled down.

sloppery 1:44 pm 16 Apr 10

Personally, I don’t feel much in the way of pity for the party employees being flogged – Aurelius’ post summed it up well. I do feel a bit sorry, though, for the public servants (of which I am not one) who have been plugging away at their jobs for years, who are suddenly being told to get things done with no resources in impossible timeframes. I work for a private sector company who tends to do this too, but the people I work with are typically highly educated individuals who will make a choice as to how hard they wish to work, and act accordingly. This often means people will knowingly turn down promotions and opportunities, but this is done out of choice. Also, people leave when they’ve had enough. Many public servants don’t seem to have this level of self empowerment and decision making capacity (partly through circumstance).

I for one don’t like Rudd. And the more I hear about what goes on amongst his staffers, the stronger that view becomes.

bd84 1:08 pm 16 Apr 10

Given the average turnover of government agencies is 20 to 30 percent and krudd’s is double to triple that, it is plain for all to see that the problem is with the employer rather than anything else. Though it doesn’t really surprise me, his performance as a prime minister has been nothing short of terrible and full of empty promises and half baked ideas, working for him would be similar.

neanderthalsis 12:58 pm 16 Apr 10

You sign up knowing that it is a tough job requiring long hours, living in Canberra at least part of the time (oh the horror) and a lot of travel. Many take on the role because they have political ambitions or they realise that being the nodding head behind the talking head opens a lot of doors in the future.

We all know that the reason for high turnovers of ministerial staff in this government is because of the micromanaging, narcissistic muppets running the show. But I don’t think the PM is likely to publically acknowledge that.

Aurelius 12:53 pm 16 Apr 10

I was a staffer for Mr Beazley in 1997/98.
A normal work day started at 8am for the daily staff meeting, and we’d work until dinner-time. I’d go home and dine with my wife, then go back to work. Work till about midnight, then home for sleep, shower and back to work.
On weekends, Saturdays would be a work day comparable to a normal job – around 9 until dinnertime. Sundays started early because of the current affair shows on Sunday mornings, and then again go to dinnertime.
I can remember taking time out to watch AFL matches in the staff room on weekends.
Were we paid for all those hours? No.
Was it exploitative? Probably.
Did anyone force us to work such long hours? No.
Why did we do it? We loved the work, we were political junkies, and we believed in what we were doing.

Make no mistake – staffers work their rings off. But there’s no overseer with a whip and barking dogs keeping them there. It’s almost always self-driven.

Would I work such a job again? Nope.

sepi 11:27 am 16 Apr 10

that argument would only make sense if previous govts and ministers had had the same sort of trouble keeping staff…

Clown Killer 11:04 am 16 Apr 10

I wouldn’t take that personally as a Canberran.

A lot of people travel for work, spending a long time away from home, friends and family and for some people there comes a point where the money and the intellectual stimulation of the job just doesn’t stack up so they look for something else – it’s just that in this instance the travel destination is Canberra.

But that’s enough of defending Rudd and his micro-managing bunch of wind-sock ministers. The bunch of incompetent pricks couldn’t organise a fcuk in a brothel and it’s not surprising that their staff are telling them to shove their reckless spending policy agenda where the sun don’t shine.

p1 10:44 am 16 Apr 10

Or the various Ministers could employ people who live in Canberra…

Just a thought.

la mente torbida 10:21 am 16 Apr 10

If they are working dog years…does this mean they only eat once a week?

Thoroughly Smashed 10:14 am 16 Apr 10

Sometimes the funniest part of these postings are the poll options you give us.

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