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Where to now for the public service?

By apstoo - 18 December 2013 44

As some one in the public service, I’m half expecting a tap on the shoulder any day and to be told my position is redundant.

I’m looking at options, do I stay in or do I leave now?

The way I see it is that with a recruitment freeze on and a reduction in staff required, there’ll be no chance of any advancement for many years to come.

What few jobs advertised will only allow placement at level.

It may come as a surprise to many to realise that $44,0000 a year isn’t enough to live on in Canberra if you work.

Faced with that low wage for years I’m wondering if it is worth it.

Do I stick it out for the long haul and hope for a promotion after the recruiting freeze is off, or do I call it quits now? I know several others in the same boat who have enquiring minds who also want to know.

For those who have experienced past freezes like this (have there been past freezes like this?) what usually happens at the end of them? More jobs for those internally or simply more jobs but sourced externally?

What’s Your opinion?


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44 Responses to
Where to now for the public service?
Rollersk8r 11:17 am 18 Dec 13

watto23 said :

People in Canberra lose track of the real world and indeed what others in Australia have to live on.
The thing is the public service continually getting payrises, means everything else has also risen in price, because well, they know people in Canberra will pay for it.

I know plenty of people in other cities on a lower wage than me, but with more disposable income.

What the government really should be doing is a pay freeze for all public servants. it might hurt initially but people keep their jobs and the costs in town start to go down.

I don’t buy the “real world” argument but I’m not going to debate it now.

I agree on a wage freeze. The 3 or 4% a year the union is asking for is LOL in this environment.

milkman 11:13 am 18 Dec 13

The answer to this is simple. Can you get a better job elsewhere?

If so, take it. If not, stay where you are.

$44000 is enought to live on. You won’t be flush, but yoou survive if you learn to budget and cut out most of the unnecessary junk people think they need.

Genie 11:08 am 18 Dec 13

Deref said :

Do what a lot of my friends have done: take the redundancy pay, come back in the same job the next day as a contractor on double the salary then get back into the service when they start advertising again.

The recruitment freeze means exactly that… a freeze… !

No new staff can be hired, including contractors in the majority of Departments. (unless the APSC Commissioner is happy to approve it)

Where I work we are just about to lose all our non-ongoing staff who were contracted to 31 Dec, none of their contracts are allowed to be extended.

dtc 10:55 am 18 Dec 13

watto23 said :

What the government really should be doing is a pay freeze for all public servants. it might hurt initially but people keep their jobs and the costs in town start to go down.

Pay freeze = pay cut

justsomeaussie said :

As with most forms of redundancies this is just allows the people with marketable skillsets to leave and leaving the ‘less marketable’ people clinging to their jobs.

I’ve personally been through this and the simple question to ask yourself is “do you want to be working with those on the ‘lower end of the pile’ forming the majority of the organisation”. For me it was an exercise in incredible frustration, bureaucracy gone mad and a compounding problem/quote]

Of course, this assumes that your assessment of yourself as being one of the people with marketable is actually correct. I’m sure 90% of people are confident they are in the top 20%.

And, more seriously, you can be very very good at a job exists only in the APS – for example, policy or program development.

A_Cog 10:54 am 18 Dec 13

arescarti42 said :

It may come as a surprise to many to realise that $44,0000 a year isn’t enough to live on in Canberra if you work.

That does come as a surprise. If that’s the case, then it might be time start thinking about selling the yacht and renting out the French chateau.

As I’ve said before, I’m not sure if apstoo is a real person, or is in fact, a cleverly-crafted character designed to elicit howls.

The more I think about it, the more I think they’re hate-bait.

NoniDoll 10:49 am 18 Dec 13

“It may come as a surprise to many to realise that $44,000 a year isn’t enough to live on in Canberra if you work.”

Okay, I’m assuming the extra ‘0’ in OP’s figure was a typo, but still, I’ve spent my whole time (about 2 years) in Canberra living on less than that figure. It *is* doable. Sure, I haven’t been able to save, but I live fairly comfortably – got a roof over my head, I can get around by bus, I have enough money for food and I still have enough to go out semi-regularly. And I am *terrible* with money.

It’s not often I agree with Joe Hockey, but the term “age of entitlement” seems to be fairly appropriate.

steveu 10:47 am 18 Dec 13

watto23 said :

What the government really should be doing is a pay freeze for all public servants. it might hurt initially but people keep their jobs and the costs in town start to go down.

This. Over at least 3 years to make any sort of impact. Things are priced at what the market is willing to bear, as you have suggested.

Im surprised the govt of the day hasnt suggested a PS wage freeze over a 3 year period. they seem focused on cutting jobs, which they are slowly realising, actually costs money too.

watto23 10:40 am 18 Dec 13

People in Canberra lose track of the real world and indeed what others in Australia have to live on.
The thing is the public service continually getting payrises, means everything else has also risen in price, because well, they know people in Canberra will pay for it.

I know plenty of people in other cities on a lower wage than me, but with more disposable income.

What the government really should be doing is a pay freeze for all public servants. it might hurt initially but people keep their jobs and the costs in town start to go down.

460cixy 10:31 am 18 Dec 13

johnboy said :

44K is a living wage. It’s just not the same living as everyone else in this town.

Rich people have better stuff, get used to it.

If you can’t live with some sort of comfort on that money there’s something wrong. There’s folk out there doing it on a lot less they just budget better.

Deref 10:28 am 18 Dec 13

Do what a lot of my friends have done: take the redundancy pay, come back in the same job the next day as a contractor on double the salary then get back into the service when they start advertising again.

arescarti42 10:25 am 18 Dec 13

It may come as a surprise to many to realise that $44,0000 a year isn’t enough to live on in Canberra if you work.

That does come as a surprise. If that’s the case, then it might be time start thinking about selling the yacht and renting out the French chateau.

justsomeaussie 10:24 am 18 Dec 13

As with most forms of redundancies this is just allows the people with marketable skillsets to leave and leaving the ‘less marketable’ people clinging to their jobs.

I’ve personally been through this and the simple question to ask yourself is “do you want to be working with those on the ‘lower end of the pile’ forming the majority of the organisation”. For me it was an exercise in incredible frustration, bureaucracy gone mad and a compounding problem.

How about instead of incentives for people to get out (where you lose good people) and instead we use incentives to keep the good people in?

johnboy 10:24 am 18 Dec 13

44K is a living wage. It’s just not the same living as everyone else in this town.

Rich people have better stuff, get used to it.

460cixy 10:15 am 18 Dec 13

Wow 44,0000 a yeah huh I don’t know how you do it

Rollersk8r 9:41 am 18 Dec 13

I’ve been around a while and I’ve never seen such uncertainty. Although I figure all you can do is (a) enjoy the Christmas break best you can, and (b) stay optimistic and ride it out in the new year.

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