Plant plan perplexes public servants

Posted May 31, 2012 by Alex Scott

The union representing public servants has been left speechless by a two-page memo establishing strict guidelines for plants in the workplace signed by one of Queensland’s top public servants.

“Our members have been asking the government to come up with a plan for workloads, and how we continue to deliver quality services to Queenslanders,” said Together Secretary Alex Scott.

“We’ve proposed a nine-point plan to allow public servants to manage workloads. The government has responded with an eight-point plan for approval, management and care of plants in the workplace.

“Our members are flabbergasted. They cannot be serious. This can’t be a real thing.

“It’s half Yes Minister, half Monty Python and a whole heap of fertiliser,” he said.

The memo, signed by Queensland Health's Director-General Dr Tony O’Connell, one of the country's highest paid public servants, decrees that workers who bring their own plants to work must have Director-level approval; that they are limited to one plant per person, and arrangements must be made for when a worker in charge of a plant takes leave.

Queensland Health is removing pot plants from all offices as a token cost cutting gesture.

“The government has said it is committed to cutting waste. This is the ultimate waste of time. I have been around the public service for twenty years and I have never seen anything as absurd,” Mr Scott said.

“The government said that they want to revitalise front line services, but public servants have better things to do with their time than finding the right permission form to request a pot plant at their desk.

"The government should be putting down its gardening gloves and having a serious discussion about the best way to make sure Queenslanders keep getting the vital health services they need every day”, he said.

The plant fiasco comes on the heels of the Director-General of Communities sending an email to all staff saying she would not be responding to any emails from staff expressing concern about workloads or job cuts.

“The government cannot revitalise frontline services until they restore senior management’s sanity,” Mr Scott said.


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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