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Redundancies in an expanding public service?

By johnboy - 24 March 2012 9

Liberal Leader Zed Seselja is asking why the ACT Government is shelling out big dollars on public service redundancy payments while the organisation continues to grow like topsy.

The ACT Government has averaged payments of $127,000 every week for five years in redundancy payments while the public service has grown by 16 per cent. ACT Opposition Leader Zed Seselja said this $33 million in payments is indicative of ACT Labor’s inability to prioritise spending or handle basic staff management.

“Where is the logic in paying $33 million to make employees go away, while the public service has grown by 16 per cent?” Mr Seselja said today.

“Almost 400 staff members have received payouts averaging $85,000 each.

If only we had some re-assurance this was the result of pruning dead wood.

What’s Your opinion?


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9 Responses to
Redundancies in an expanding public service?
Genie 11:31 pm 24 Mar 12

Why only discuss the ACT public service…. What about the rest of us ???

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/100-government-jobs-to-be-cut-20120308-1ull7.html

MWF 9:57 pm 24 Mar 12

People, we are talking about the ACT public service, not the Commonwealth Public Service.

I-filed 7:04 pm 24 Mar 12

devils_advocate said :

redundancies help get rid of some of the dead wood and get younger, better qualified and more ambitious people in through the door.

Ageist comment … younger doesn’t equate to better qualified in any case. Lots of the redundancies I know of have been young people in any case.

devils_advocate 3:37 pm 24 Mar 12

DeskMonkey said :

devils_advocate said :

redundancies help get rid of some of the dead wood and get younger, better qualified and more ambitious people in through the door.

Better qualified? You may have a diploma or degree but you still have a heck of a long way to go to be “better qualified” in the public service. Getting a degree doesn’t mean you know how things are done in the PS, sure you might have some great ideas, but you’ll probably find that in house politics will quash that pretty quick.
You may be ambitious as well, but will find that trying to get into the higher level jobs are extremely hard.
VR’s are great if the people in higher levels jobs aren’t performing at the level they should be but it doesn’t mean external recruitment will grow. It also doesn’t mean everyone who applies for one will get one. If you’ve not been living under a rock, you’ll know that a lot of Commonwealth Departments have to cull their ranks. VR’s and removing contractors is the first way to do this. Whilst things are advertised externally, you’ll probably find the higher percentage of those jobs already have people sitting in them (acting) and to become permanent it needs to go through the process of fair advertisement.

devils_advocate said :

Also looking at staff numbers is a bit stupid. Allowing for fixed staffing costs, for one SES salary you can get probably 3 grads in.

I don’t understand this statement – why is looking at staff numbers stupid?
Fixed staffing costs? Are you saying that someone who consistently performs at say, a high level EL1 or even 6 should earn as much as an APS3 grad, who is fresh out of school and slightly naive to the real world? With no experience and no idea of how things work?
You’ll also find that a lot of the SES have worked their way to the top, deserving the level of pay that they get. How many APS 4/5/6 people work until 8-9pm every night to get things done? If you ditch an extremely intelligent SES who is getting results and who knows their shit for 3 grads fresh out of school with no concept of life in the Public Service is the right way to go, you’re asking for more trouble than solutions.

Getting people in who “don’t know how things are done in the public service” is kind of the point. Often times cultures and behaviours are so ingrained it takes changing the actual people to create any real change. I’ll take someone with qualifications over someone that knows how to backstab and self-promote any day.

As for the fixed costs, I was talking about the cost to the agency of actually providing someone with a computer, desk space (in the case of SES staff, offices) and everything else.

My point was, there are perfectly sound reasons why an agency would be offering VRs and simultaneously seeking to recruit new staff. In fact, it is happening now and one of the few things I’ve seen in the PS that actually makes sense.

Now, if only promotions to the SES leadership group were made based on ability/merit, rather than tenure, …

DeskMonkey 2:09 pm 24 Mar 12

devils_advocate said :

redundancies help get rid of some of the dead wood and get younger, better qualified and more ambitious people in through the door.

Better qualified? You may have a diploma or degree but you still have a heck of a long way to go to be “better qualified” in the public service. Getting a degree doesn’t mean you know how things are done in the PS, sure you might have some great ideas, but you’ll probably find that in house politics will quash that pretty quick.
You may be ambitious as well, but will find that trying to get into the higher level jobs are extremely hard.
VR’s are great if the people in higher levels jobs aren’t performing at the level they should be but it doesn’t mean external recruitment will grow. It also doesn’t mean everyone who applies for one will get one. If you’ve not been living under a rock, you’ll know that a lot of Commonwealth Departments have to cull their ranks. VR’s and removing contractors is the first way to do this. Whilst things are advertised externally, you’ll probably find the higher percentage of those jobs already have people sitting in them (acting) and to become permanent it needs to go through the process of fair advertisement.

devils_advocate said :

Also looking at staff numbers is a bit stupid. Allowing for fixed staffing costs, for one SES salary you can get probably 3 grads in.

I don’t understand this statement – why is looking at staff numbers stupid?
Fixed staffing costs? Are you saying that someone who consistently performs at say, a high level EL1 or even 6 should earn as much as an APS3 grad, who is fresh out of school and slightly naive to the real world? With no experience and no idea of how things work?
You’ll also find that a lot of the SES have worked their way to the top, deserving the level of pay that they get. How many APS 4/5/6 people work until 8-9pm every night to get things done? If you ditch an extremely intelligent SES who is getting results and who knows their shit for 3 grads fresh out of school with no concept of life in the Public Service is the right way to go, you’re asking for more trouble than solutions.

HenryBG 12:58 pm 24 Mar 12

devils_advocate said :

redundancies help get rid of some of the dead wood and get younger, better qualified and more ambitious people in through the door.

Also looking at staff numbers is a bit stupid. Allowing for fixed staffing costs, for one SES salary you can get probably 3 grads in.

Yes, because loads of departments are going to agree to give up an SES position so they can re-apply the funding somewhere else….

In any case, the “redundant” invariably return as contractors.

devils_advocate 11:33 am 24 Mar 12

redundancies help get rid of some of the dead wood and get younger, better qualified and more ambitious people in through the door.

Also looking at staff numbers is a bit stupid. Allowing for fixed staffing costs, for one SES salary you can get probably 3 grads in.

HenryBG 11:17 am 24 Mar 12

ICAC.

And replace the top tiers with people who can actually do the job instead of having to hire hundreds of contractors at vast expense.

taninaus 11:15 am 24 Mar 12

I would love to know where these redundancies are from? I have never ever in that time frame heard of any redundancies being offered or given let alone 400 people. The admin pool is pretty small word usually gets around. Mind you with 2 wks for every year of service even a middle level person can get to $85k if they have been around long enough and if you start giving them to the SOG level it is much higher than that.

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