Public servants fear losing staff, not tea and biscuits

Posted May 18, 2012 by Alex Scott

Banning tea and biscuits from workplaces or getting rid of office plants is pointless penny-pinching that won’t help Queensland’s public services, Together Secretary Alex Scott said today.

“Most public servants you talk to are more worried about the fact that their colleagues are having their contracts cancelled, leaving others with the work,” Mr Scott said.

“The fact is the senior bureaucrats enacting this penny-pinching are causing inefficiencies and creating uncertainty.

“People don’t have time for tea breaks when their workmates are disappearing at the same time as they are managing Queensland’s child protection services, or disability services, or police and emergency services. That is what is at the forefront of people’s minds right now,” he said.

“We understand that savings will have to be made and we are very willing to work with the government to help identify them.

“Public servants are used to economising. Across agencies like Communities, Health, Police, and others, for years we’ve seen rising workloads and more and more attempts to get blood out of a stone.

“Many people who deliver vital services have already had their contracts wound up, and others are being told they will expire soon. This is hurting the remaining staff, not to mention adding to Queensland’s unemployment.

“The people who are losing their jobs are not really ‘temporary’ – they are the same as their colleagues in every respect except that a legal loophole means they can still be called temporary after doing the same job for years.

“All of the talk about tea and coffee and office plants isn’t a serious savings plan. The serious point is how the government will deliver Queenslanders their services while the very staff who deliver them have either already been lost or are living under a cloud of an uncertain future.

“Public servants want to work co-operatively with the government, and part of that process is government realising that there isn’t an easy fix, not when our state’s population is still growing and the pressure on public services is continuing to rise.”


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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