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So who wants a pay cut?

By johnboy 22 November 2013 32

Government News has a story on plans at Health to offer demotions in an effort to get payroll down:

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has successfully sought to enter consultations with the Department of Health following confirmation that a range of voluntary workplace flexibility options – including reduced hours and voluntary demotions – have been put to staff as a way of cutting budgets and potentially reducing the need for redundancies.

The tactics by Health open a bold new front in the bid to reduce the staff costs in the Australian Public Service because they are likely to act as a frontrunner for similar initiatives in other departments.

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So who wants a pay cut?
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IrishPete 2:51 am 25 Nov 13

neanderthalsis said :

harvyk1 said :

If this was happening in the car industry, the building industry or any other industry that “real Australian’s” work in, we’d be seeing protests bringing the major cities to a stand still. Today Tonight and A Current Affair would both be running stories non stop, and yet because it’s “Canberra” this sort of uncertainty around peoples jobs is not only accepted, but encouraged….

It has, regularly and in many industry sectors. In 2008 especially, there were a number of negotiations between unions and employers at the start of the GFC to establish fliexible workplace options that allowed people to drop to part time, take a voluntary pay cut or go into a part time training arrangement but still keep their job. It does happen a lot in some industires, especially where there is peak demand followed by flat periods. The workforce opts to stay employed, albeit at reduced pay,because being employed is better being on the dole.

It is only really in the sheltered world (or perhaps sheltered workshop) that is the APS that the Jobs For Life mentality still exists…

Indeed I think Holden workers quite recently voted for a pay reduction. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/holden-workers-at-the-company8217s-elizabeth-plant-in-adelaide-vote-yes-to-pay-freeze/story-fni6uok5-1226696051225

Okay a three-year freeze, but a pay freeze is a pay cut in real terms, so long as inflation is above zero.

Something people often forget is that when there is deflation (prices are reducing), pay should be reduced accordingly. There has at times been deflation in some developed economies since the GFC…

IP

neanderthalsis 2:57 pm 24 Nov 13

harvyk1 said :

If this was happening in the car industry, the building industry or any other industry that “real Australian’s” work in, we’d be seeing protests bringing the major cities to a stand still. Today Tonight and A Current Affair would both be running stories non stop, and yet because it’s “Canberra” this sort of uncertainty around peoples jobs is not only accepted, but encouraged….

It has, regularly and in many industry sectors. In 2008 especially, there were a number of negotiations between unions and employers at the start of the GFC to establish fliexible workplace options that allowed people to drop to part time, take a voluntary pay cut or go into a part time training arrangement but still keep their job. It does happen a lot in some industires, especially where there is peak demand followed by flat periods. The workforce opts to stay employed, albeit at reduced pay,because being employed is better being on the dole.

It is only really in the sheltered world (or perhaps sheltered workshop) that is the APS that the Jobs For Life mentality still exists…

milkman 10:26 pm 23 Nov 13

Aeek said :

steveu said :

IMHO There have been a number of IT firms rubbing their hands with glee well before the election, who were in talks with the the opposition about how they could get their slice of the pie.

Rather unfortunate for IBMgsa who were found to be, in QLD. worse than useless.

The big players are struggling, especially IBM and HP. Both suck very badly as places to work and have signed up low profit work to maintain market share, so the pressure is on to do more with less.

Some of the smaller firms are doing very well, though.

Aeek 9:57 pm 23 Nov 13

steveu said :

IMHO There have been a number of IT firms rubbing their hands with glee well before the election, who were in talks with the the opposition about how they could get their slice of the pie.

Rather unfortunate for IBMgsa who were found to be, in QLD. worse than useless.

steveu 7:22 pm 23 Nov 13

MissChief said :

I hope the decision makers also consider what efficiencies might be gained by actually employing people. Imagine how much it is costing the Government to have DHS staff waiting 45 minutes just to speak to someone in their ICT section (let alone get their problem fixed which can take up to 4 weeks). In this instance, employing a few extra people to reduce wait times might actually save money. The same goes for outsourced work that could now be done cheaper, quicker and at a higher standard in-house.

Their solution to the IT problem will be to form “strategic partnerships” (you can’t use the o word anymore). They have been running the existing internal IT service into the ground (reduce resources, expand scope beyond what is reasonable etc) then sell it off as it isn’t performing, apply a open ended contract so you are begging the firm to take your money, and bingo. Consolidate IT across departments (now you had your chance to do that for the last 6 years they will say) giving a bigger slice of the market to the firm you are “partnering” with. Amazing we just got some instant savings from consolidation which will be part of profit for the firm that gets the work (the price will be just below the old operating costs of course, and hence it can be stated its cheaper).
Move existing it people to spaces where they can’t do their work they are skilled up for, they will eventually give up and go. It doesn’t matter where (ie what country) the service comes from as long as it’s cheap. Problem solved.

IMHO There have been a number of IT firms rubbing their hands with glee well before the election, who were in talks with the the opposition about how they could get their slice of the pie.

Nice isn’t it?

Gerry-Built 3:20 pm 23 Nov 13

with Alan Jones spreading his particularly vile brand of fact-lacking stories, it wouldn’t be surprising if an uneducated segment of the public thought that “trimming the fat” was an excellent idea… I mean; a Dept of 1500+ earning FROM a staggering $135,000; that’d get the blood boiling…

bronal 3:08 pm 23 Nov 13

The basic problem at Health (which was recognised well before the election) is the large ‘spare tyre’ of EL1s ( and in some cases EL2s) – about a third of all staff if some sources are to be believed. Severe cuts would have been necessary even if Labor had won. In addition, the creation of a centralised Grant Services Division has also reduced the need for staff in this area (Health, along with DSS, apparently have more grants than any other department and the management of grants was until now inconsistent between divisions and wasteful of resources).

Why are there so many EL1s? (1) Boomers and Xers creating career paths for themselves (2) ‘please don’t leave and take that EL1 you’ve just won – stay here and we’ll upgrade your existing job’ (3) grads being promised unrealistic promotions by their mid to late 20s.

Silentforce 1:33 pm 23 Nov 13

Australia is a democracy, the Australian Public Service is not.

Woody Mann-Caruso 10:26 am 23 Nov 13

I hope the decision makers also consider what efficiencies might be gained by actually employing people.

Please report to One National Circuit, Room 101 for rats re-education.

miz 8:48 am 23 Nov 13

Jane Halton sounds like a hardline economic rationalism devotee – you know, offer higher pay to retain staff in the good times (when there is a lot of competition and good people get poached), and slash wages and staff when there is lower demand for staff, or an excess (even if contrived, as is occurring now).
While this sort of policy sounds good in theory, unfortunately it only seems to be applied to the underlings who do the actual work. I have observed over the years that the bigheads who apply such policies always seem to exempt themselves. It is rare to see politicians, corporate bosses etc cutting their own salaries to keep operations going. The whole shebang is just another way to keep the already privileged in their comfy positions of power and remind the hoi polloi who’s the boss.
I don’t see Ms Halton leading by example and volunteering to halve her annual salary to help keep the Department functioning.
Morale is not great anywhere in the APS at present, but it must be horrible in Health.
I am mortified on behalf of womankind about Ms Halton’s actions, given that it appears she thinks that you must completely lose any conscience you may previously have had, once you hit the echelons.

KB1971 7:51 am 23 Nov 13

magiccar9 said :

Rollersk8r said :

Sure I’ll take a ~20% pay cut, just as long as the bank’s willing to waive 20% of my mortgage.

Proof of the self entitlement of the PS and those living beyond their means. An interesting person called in on radio regarding this topic (I think it could have been 666 yesterday). She stated that she wouldn’t take a pay cut because it would impact the lifestyle she was comfortable with.
I think many public servants need to sit up and pull their finger out and be more aware of what’s going on around them. Instead they sit by and complain about not being able to fill up their Mercedes or BMW SUV or not get their nails done each week.

Mmm, interesting but incorrect perception. As I park my bike in my departments basement I cannot remember seeing even one base model 1 series BMW let alone a SUV. There are lots of all sorts or normal cars.

Even the secretary (the man who answers to the minister if you don’t know) drives a Holden…….

People like you really need to get a grip.

urchin 11:10 pm 22 Nov 13

nhand42 said :

magiccar9 said :

I think many public servants need to sit up and pull their finger out and be more aware of what’s going on around them. Instead they sit by and complain about not being able to fill up their Mercedes or BMW SUV or not get their nails done each week.

I think it’s amusing how easily the top 1% have managed to get “the poors” fighting over the table scraps. While the rich spend billions on lavish lifestyles, middle-class person A complains about middle-class person B’s choice of car, and they both think lower-class person C’s status in life is due to their drinking beer and smoking cigs instead of “working hard”.

Instead of trying to pull the rest of the middle-class into poverty with you, how about you start building the guillotine and we execute a couple of the rich? A society where the ratio in salary between the richest and the poorest is (say) 10:1 is far less toxic for everybody involved.

after all, the french revolution turned out well, didn’t it? what’s not to love?

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