25,000 more Qld public servants in line for the axe

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25,000 more Qld public servants in line for the axe

The Queensland Government has declared another 25,000 public servant jobs to be ‘non-frontline’, meaning they will be easier to axe as part of the bid to cut the public sector by at least 20,000 workers.

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The Queensland Government has declared another 25,000 public servant jobs to be ‘non-frontline’, meaning they will be easier to axe as part of the bid to cut the public sector by at least 20,000 workers.

Premier Campbell Newman has promised not to sack frontline workers who deal direct with the public, but the criteria for assessing these jobs has now been changed.

Previously, frontline workers had to spend ‘the majority’ of their time dealing with the public either face-to-face or on the phone, but the new definition is 75% of the workers’ time.

The result is that 12% more public servants are potentially in the firing line.

65,000 workers ‘non-frontline’
 
A major audit begun in June and finalised this month, has ruled 65,025 workers were non-frontline, or 32% of the overall 204,400-strong public sector.

That compares with 2010, the only recent figures available, when 40,561 ― or 20% ― of the state’s 200,002 workers were classified non-frontline.

Almost four in five (7153) workers are now classified non-frontline within Transport and Main Roads, where the government plans to axe almost 2000 jobs.

Major job cuts are also expected in Queensland Health, with Health Minister Lawrence Springborg refusing to confirm that up to 4000 jobs would go, including many middle-management positions.

Springborg would not comment on the numbers but said middle-management jobs would be on the chopping block.

Leaner
 
‘We will end up with a leaner corporate office and we will end up with a leaner administrative structure,’ he said.

Springborg said there would be more room in the health budget for jobs if it wasn’t for the former Labor government’s payroll bungle.

The March 2010 roll-out of a new payroll system at Queensland Health has so far led to more than 50,000 staff being overpaid more than $90 million.

The government believes it can achieve the 4000 target figure without affecting frontline services.

Employees in areas such as preventative health as well as others in non-clinical and administrative positions are being targeted in a bid to reduce the department's $18 million-a-day wages bill.

More than 7000 job cuts have already been identified by the government across the entire public service, however, large cuts in Health are needed to achieve the Newman Government’s 20,000 target.

Springborg confirmed there would be ‘significant reductions’ in the department.

The Queensland Nurses Union (QNU) said the LNP State Government’s over-reaction to Queensland’s post-GFC and post-natural-disasters budget situation is now getting seriously dangerous.

QNU secretary Beth Mohle said that ad hoc cost-cutting was now posing a significant threat to the quality of many state public health programs, including the highly-effective Tuberculosis management and BreastScreen programs.
 
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