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Dear public servants, do tell us about your departure lounge?

By johnboy - 6 November 2013 34

With stories coming in of increasingly insistent voluntary redundancy offers, and the creation of “departure lounges” where undeployed public servants are required to sit idle all day and consider their futures we thought we’d try and bring some information transparency to the process.

So please share your experiences of the current darkness below?

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
Dear public servants, do tell us about your departure lounge?
Queen_of_the_Bun 12:59 am 07 Nov 13

I’m told that in some departments, every new vacancy has to go first to those staff on the R&R register. Ie those who are awaiting redeployment for a variety of reasons, but most probably poor performance, often related to health issues.
I’m all in favour of looking after people, but if numbers are going to be cut, surely a specialist on a non-ongoing contract* deserves more consideration than a permanent APS6 who has been shuffled around between departments and jobs due to their inability to work in a work environment – and total lack of experience in any work environment outside the APS?
*I may or may not be a specialist employed on a six-month non-ongoing contract.

Tetranitrate 12:31 am 07 Nov 13

screaming banshee said :

I wish departments would grow some balls and performance manage out the shitbricks rather than paying off potentially good people to leave.

It’s an amazing exercise in adverse selection, that’s for sure.

EvanJames 11:18 pm 06 Nov 13

The labour market is certainly a very slow thing at the moment. It’s seemed slow for some time actually, but now I’m out in it, it’s basically a mud pool. Nothing’s moving, it’s dead.

screaming banshee 8:20 pm 06 Nov 13

I wish departments would grow some balls and performance manage out the shitbricks rather than paying off potentially good people to leave.

I had an interesting chat with a business owner the other day that said they won’t even consider an applicant with more than 3 months in govt. sounds like good policy based on the ex govvies I’ve worked with.

milkman 7:08 pm 06 Nov 13

The ACT economy will definitely slow down, but I doubt it will be as bad as the 90’s. It will last for several years, though.

rosscoact 7:04 pm 06 Nov 13

Thumper said :

rosscoact said :

farout said :

Sandman said :

Nice plan on the Liberals behalf. Probably cost them more to cut jobs than it would to just find something useful to do for the extra 12,000 people.

Seems like only yesterday that Andrew Leigh was foretelling how this was going to decimate the ACT economy.

they’ve only been screwing us for a few weeks and already the economy is tanking. Leave it for a few more months and see how bad it is

The economy is tanking?

Where are you posting form? Romania?

This is about the ACT economy. They haven’t had a chance to screw over the strong Australian economy but Santa Joe is doing his best and will succeed no doubt.

To understand the local economy I suggest you read some economic data for quantitative examples. Talk to people who are going out of business for qualitative data. It won’t be difficult.

dtc 5:52 pm 06 Nov 13

dph said :

Simply put, there are far too many people within the APS, getting paid ridiculously large sallaries & reaping huge benefits to do sweet f*ck all (or not nearly enough to warrant their pay & benefits).

I’m sure there are many hard working people in the APS but to deny the above statement, you have to have your head in the sand.

This had to happen eventually.

Nice rant but nothing to do with the story.

The problem faced, in addition to everyone who might retire hanging out for redundancy, is that the APS is now not hiring contractors so the private sector jobs that the staff may have headed off to are not available. So no one is leaving. There is no incentive to leave and few jobs to go to. And, as per last time, the people who eventually grab the redundancies will – on the whole – take decades of corporate knowledge with them

HiddenDragon 5:46 pm 06 Nov 13

rosscoact said :

farout said :

Sandman said :

Nice plan on the Liberals behalf. Probably cost them more to cut jobs than it would to just find something useful to do for the extra 12,000 people.

Seems like only yesterday that Andrew Leigh was foretelling how this was going to decimate the ACT economy.

they’ve only been screwing us for a few weeks and already the economy is tanking. Leave it for a few more months and see how bad it is

It certainly is getting worse, but for some businesses, the slowdown started a few years back, when the stimulus money ran out, and consumers re-discovered the concept of saving – since then, it’s been bumpy, but with a downward trend. The cuts started by Labor, and their leadership shenanigans did not help, either. I think this will be worse than ’96/’97 because there seems to be a more ambitious agenda for fundamental change to the role of central government.

Thumper 5:34 pm 06 Nov 13

rosscoact said :

farout said :

Sandman said :

Nice plan on the Liberals behalf. Probably cost them more to cut jobs than it would to just find something useful to do for the extra 12,000 people.

Seems like only yesterday that Andrew Leigh was foretelling how this was going to decimate the ACT economy.

they’ve only been screwing us for a few weeks and already the economy is tanking. Leave it for a few more months and see how bad it is

The economy is tanking?

Where are you posting form? Romania?

OLydia 5:22 pm 06 Nov 13

Sandman said :

Mrs Sandman tells me there are a lot of over 60’s in her department that have shelved their early retirement plans in the hope of a redundancy offer and a nice chunk of walking around money.

Nice plan on the Liberals behalf. Probably cost them more to cut jobs than it would to just find something usefull to do for the extra 12,000 people.

A colleague of mine, over the age of 65, was offered and accepted a VR package recently. When the HR area provided the payout estimate, it was taxed at normal marginal tax rates. Apparently the ATO believes that people over the age of 65 leaving employment are retiring and any payments received are considered severance payments rather than redundancy payments (which attract a much lower level of taxation).

Something to be aware of for older employees. You may want to make the decision before turning 65. This could be the new 54-11!

rosscoact 5:10 pm 06 Nov 13

farout said :

Sandman said :

Nice plan on the Liberals behalf. Probably cost them more to cut jobs than it would to just find something useful to do for the extra 12,000 people.

Seems like only yesterday that Andrew Leigh was foretelling how this was going to decimate the ACT economy.

they’ve only been screwing us for a few weeks and already the economy is tanking. Leave it for a few more months and see how bad it is

dph 3:25 pm 06 Nov 13

Simply put, there are far too many people within the APS, getting paid ridiculously large sallaries & reaping huge benefits to do sweet f*ck all (or not nearly enough to warrant their pay & benefits).

I’m sure there are many hard working people in the APS but to deny the above statement, you have to have your head in the sand.

This had to happen eventually.

farout 3:19 pm 06 Nov 13

Sandman said :

Nice plan on the Liberals behalf. Probably cost them more to cut jobs than it would to just find something useful to do for the extra 12,000 people.

Seems like only yesterday that Andrew Leigh was foretelling how this was going to decimate the ACT economy.

Sandman 2:56 pm 06 Nov 13

Mrs Sandman tells me there are a lot of over 60’s in her department that have shelved their early retirement plans in the hope of a redundancy offer and a nice chunk of walking around money.

Nice plan on the Liberals behalf. Probably cost them more to cut jobs than it would to just find something usefull to do for the extra 12,000 people.

Grail 2:12 pm 06 Nov 13

The APS isn’t the only organisation with departure lounges. They aren’t created, so much as arise by virtue of having an office while all your responsibilities are stripped away.

In the corporate world this is done to minimise the payouts required due to entitlements: if you can get the soon-to-be-ex employee to quit or find a reason to fire them, you save the generous redundancy bonuses they would otherwise be entitled to.

Thanks to The Mad Monk telling everyone that the APS will be downsizing by natural attrition, those who would have left the APS to seek their fortunes in the private sector may not do so now. This was demonstrated true during Howard’s and Campbell Newman’s respective reigns of terror.

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