Everyone’s talking tough on the public service

johnboy 6 August 2010 23

The Canberra Times has a piece on hereditary Labor warlord Joe Ludwig talking tough on ripping $840 million in savings from the Public Service.

Jon Stanhope promises that whatever Labor does the Liberals would be worse. But he would say that wouldn’t he?


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23 Responses to Everyone’s talking tough on the public service
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georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 9:42 am 08 Aug 10

wickerman said :

georgesgenitals said :

I’m not a public servant, but work with a range of pubes across a number of departments. Based on my experience, there are a range of performers, from amazing through to dead useless (much like the private sector). There are probably a few more deadbeats in the public service, but the difference is not as marked as the private sector would have you believe. The thing that really differentiates public and private, though, is that the public service stills tends to be somewhat inefficient, even when trying to pull their belt in. Also, the perks many pubes get (eg training, special time off, etc) seems much more generous than the private sector generally. Of course, it’s not hard to get better $$ as a professional in the private sector, so that makes up for the perks, I reckon.

The point, I guess, is that amongst the private sector (especially outside Canberra), there is a perception that the public service IS bloated and inefficient. It’s not surprising pollies latch onto that when campaigning.

Since you mentioned perceptions, Yeah thanks to all the private enterprise workers for the outstanding services you provide for the Canberra public, your friendly over the counter attitudes and prompt tradesman, and the great workmanship and prices you charge us for repairs and services. Its a real pleasure to deal with it. NOT!

As far as tradies go, I’m with you all the way. The ones I’ve dealt with haven’t been great. As for over the counter private sector (eg retail and hospitality), a lot of these people wouldn’t even have jobs if there wasn’t such a labour shortage.

That said, there’s a lot more to the private sector than trades, retail and hospitality. There are a lot of professional services firms with major offices in Canberra.

wickerman wickerman 2:34 am 08 Aug 10

georgesgenitals said :

I’m not a public servant, but work with a range of pubes across a number of departments. Based on my experience, there are a range of performers, from amazing through to dead useless (much like the private sector). There are probably a few more deadbeats in the public service, but the difference is not as marked as the private sector would have you believe. The thing that really differentiates public and private, though, is that the public service stills tends to be somewhat inefficient, even when trying to pull their belt in. Also, the perks many pubes get (eg training, special time off, etc) seems much more generous than the private sector generally. Of course, it’s not hard to get better $$ as a professional in the private sector, so that makes up for the perks, I reckon.

The point, I guess, is that amongst the private sector (especially outside Canberra), there is a perception that the public service IS bloated and inefficient. It’s not surprising pollies latch onto that when campaigning.

Since you mentioned perceptions, Yeah thanks to all the private enterprise workers for the outstanding services you provide for the Canberra public, your friendly over the counter attitudes and prompt tradesman, and the great workmanship and prices you charge us for repairs and services. Its a real pleasure to deal with it. NOT!

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 4:46 pm 07 Aug 10

I’m not a public servant, but work with a range of pubes across a number of departments. Based on my experience, there are a range of performers, from amazing through to dead useless (much like the private sector). There are probably a few more deadbeats in the public service, but the difference is not as marked as the private sector would have you believe. The thing that really differentiates public and private, though, is that the public service stills tends to be somewhat inefficient, even when trying to pull their belt in. Also, the perks many pubes get (eg training, special time off, etc) seems much more generous than the private sector generally. Of course, it’s not hard to get better $$ as a professional in the private sector, so that makes up for the perks, I reckon.

The point, I guess, is that amongst the private sector (especially outside Canberra), there is a perception that the public service IS bloated and inefficient. It’s not surprising pollies latch onto that when campaigning.

Richard Bender Richard Bender 4:08 pm 07 Aug 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

I’ll have my people call somebody at the CIU at PM&C about calling your people to set up an interdepartmental working group to develop terms of reference for a steering committee to consider options for a communications strategy going forward.

That’s an outrageous slur on the CIU. It’s PM&C’s SDD (gotta love TLAs) that comes up with all that crap.

vandam vandam 11:47 am 07 Aug 10

People are forgetting that the Public Service is just like any other job. Sometimes there is more work on and more staff are required. It’s silly and expensive to keep those people when that work goes away.

Whilst I’m no expert, I hear the public service is quite relaxed and laid back. It probably wouldn’t hurt them to put in a full 8 hour day!

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 10:45 am 07 Aug 10

The third meeting will never be held, because the two secretariat members have taken jobs elsewhere.

People think I’m joking or exaggerating when I try to explain it.

MrPC MrPC 12:27 am 07 Aug 10

APS ongoing staff who are looking at buying housing or moving to a new rental place would probably love to see the meat axe weilded. It means a chance at finding housing where the pricing is somewhere slightly below the current stratospheric levels.

Hack away, boys.

Fisho Fisho 6:43 pm 06 Aug 10

There are savings that could be made in govt i.e. some of the Gershon Report findings.
Provided spending cuts doesn’t translate to service cuts….

Scrapping Marine parks and using existing legislation to achieve the same outcomes would be one area.

Thumper Thumper 6:25 pm 06 Aug 10

The only way to get (Labor) politicians to actually care is to vote them out once in a while

Hahahahahaha.. oh?

You’re serious…

sexynotsmart sexynotsmart 5:52 pm 06 Aug 10

The can’t see how Our John can legitimately make the statement. There wasn’t enough information in the announcement to complete comparative analysis.

I think Canberra is in for a trim after 21-Aug, through either post-election or post-Gershon slashing. Regardless of whether Our Julia or Our Tony makes it.

hax hax 5:35 pm 06 Aug 10

Jon Stanhope promises that whatever Labor does the Liberals would be worse. But he would say that wouldn’t he?

Does anyone actually believe this rubbish?

Both parties are going to cut back the PS, but does anyone seriously believe that people choosing to leave/retire from their positions in the public service is going to send Canberra into a recession? or is the ‘blunt instrument’ method better? (aka ‘meat axe’)

People shouldn’t accept we’re just a ‘shoe-in’. The only way to get (Labor) politicians to actually care is to vote them out once in a while. (you know, so they realize its actually possible and they might need to actually try)

moneypenny2612 moneypenny2612 5:30 pm 06 Aug 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

I’ll have my people call somebody at the CIU at PM&C about calling your people to set up an interdepartmental working group to develop terms of reference for a steering committee to consider options for a communications strategy going forward.

… and the big wigs will be seen to convene and attend the inaugural IWG meeting. They will minute their mutual congratulations for this new and exciting ‘one APS’ policy initiative. They will disagree about the terms of reference (not noted). 23 minutes will be spent debating the difference between ‘procedure’ and ‘process’. Three terms of reference will be agreed and the meeting adjourned at 12.07.

For the inaugural steering committee meeting in four months time, the terms of reference are noted, and each one referred to a committee member (who happens to belong to the SES, befitting the committee’s importance to the IWG) for further analysis and report back to the committee at the next meeting next quarter.

At the second meeting, a departmental graduate (or perhaps last year’s graduate) will be sent as a big wig’s proxy (a development opportunity) and there will be several apologies. The previous meeting’s minutes will be agreed after robust discussion about the placement and order of the action items in said minutes. Then 53 minutes will be spent discussing an agenda for the next meeting and assigning agenda items to IWG members. The meeting will adjourn until the next quarter.

The third meeting will never be held, because the two secretariat members have taken jobs elsewhere.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 3:55 pm 06 Aug 10

Give us a warning

I’ll have my people call somebody at the CIU at PM&C about calling your people to set up an interdepartmental working group to develop terms of reference for a steering committee to consider options for a communications strategy going forward.

justsomeaussie justsomeaussie 3:03 pm 06 Aug 10

First off I’m not a public servant.

I agree that a lot of departments in the public service do work hard but a lot of departments do provide great examples of inefficiency and wastage. I’ve personally seen internal departments in the APS fighting to have the biggest plasma screens in their area only for them to never be used, and that’s just a small example of how $100 thousand dollars was spent in a few months.

I don’t want to see cuts, I want to see efficiency. I’d like to see a scheme where public servants can report of inefficiency in their area, then provide a solution. The report would go internal and external so there can be less middle management “disappearing memos” acts.

A great incentive would be a small percentage of the money saved to be given back to the public servant who solved the problem. Image how many public servants would be trying to save money if some of it was going back into their pocket.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 2:41 pm 06 Aug 10

FFS Woody! Give us a warning when you’re going to crack a joke that good will ya? Damn near choked on my coffee. People in the office looking at me all weird-like now. 🙂

WillowJim WillowJim 2:35 pm 06 Aug 10

Mia80 said :

How many times do they need to “cut back” on the public service?

How about once a decade? Or when it’s ridiculously bloated?

The APS has just gone through a decade of extraordinary growth. The result? Agencies have been so desperate to spend their rising staff budgets that most monkeys who can open and print a Word document can earn at least $65,000 a year. If you can string a few sentences together you should at least be employed as an EL1 ($80,000+), based on the new work level standards. If you can do the above, plus have the occasional original thought and don’t mind a bit of overtime, you should pull $120,000 or so. It is any wonder Canberra house prices are so high, given the amount of jobs the government has been pouring into this city?

The APS should grow slowly and steadily. At the moment, it’s too big. In my humble opinion.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 2:33 pm 06 Aug 10

Gungahlin Al said :

…Terry Moran’s ‘one APS’? My lilly white backside. Higher-ups in departments in this town are yet to demonstrate ability to act as a single government.
IMHO.

Let’s just concentrate on getting the higher-ups to work together as a single department first, hey! 😛

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 1:09 pm 06 Aug 10

Higher-ups in departments in this town are yet to demonstrate ability to act as a single government.

I have it on good authority that there was a MAC report on connected government in 2004 and it said Secretaries would lead us into a golden dawn where we’d all collaborate to solve wicked policy problems and that it all happened overnight as promised and today we all live in a socioeconomic utopia and anybody who says different is a terrorist who doesn’t love The Leader.

Mia80 Mia80 1:09 pm 06 Aug 10

How many times do they need to “cut back” on the public service?
If there were serious consistent cut backs, would that mean we would have a deminishing public service, No?

Regardless of what non-public servants think of the public service, people “lose” their jobs (with a usually pleasant payout), but the work load remains (even increases), so they hire temps or put people on contract to backfill, deem there is the work load to justify an actual position and re-hire.
And the cycle starts again next election.

It’s usually the people doing the work that get the chop, whilst the hire-ups (usually – but not always) get the golden handcuffs.

It’s only an election spin to “satisfy” the masses… but actually just means a shift in personnel. Nothing more.

S4anta S4anta 12:37 pm 06 Aug 10

Thumper said :

Sorry, meant to add that the coalition could give a toss either.

thats because pope ratarse thinks it is a sin

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