Despite the Abbott Government's promise before the election that there would be no forced redundancies in the Australian Public Service, there are reports today that The Treasury has launched a 'spill and fill' process that will lead to up to 40 forced sackings. Here's my comments in response:
DON'T SACK TREASURY MUMS
The Abbott Government has broken yet another of its pre-election promises, with news that staff at The Treasury are being forced to take part in a ‘spill and fill’ process that will result in up to 40 forced redundancies.
Before the last election, Tony Abbott promised that any jobs lost in the Australian Public Service would go through ‘natural attrition’, and stated:
“I really want to stress that we are not talking about forced redundancies, we are talking about not replacing everyone who leaves, that’s all.”
Despite this unambiguous commitment, reports today suggest that Treasury’s voluntary redundancy program has stalled and almost all of the agency’s 960 staff have been forced to re-apply for their own jobs. Worryingly, this includes women who are currently on maternity leave and new graduate employees.
It is appalling that any highly-skilled Treasury employee would be forced out of their job because of the Abbott Government’s ideological commitment to slashing the size of the public service. This fact alone is further evidence that the government is incapable of being truthful with the Australian people.
But it is even more atrocious that new mums on maternity leave should face the stress and uncertainty of having to re-apply for their jobs at a time when they should be free to focus on their families and their own wellbeing.
Under Australian law, women on maternity leave have a right to return to the job they held before going on leave, or a suitable alternative with equivalent pay and status.
The Abbott Government must comply with the spirit of this law and guarantee that no Treasury worker who is currently on maternity leave will be forced into involuntary redundancy through this process.
I urge the government to stick to its pre-election promise and ditch this plan to force out specialist Treasury staff. If this unfair budget has proved anything, it’s that the Abbott government needs all the economic advice it can get.
THURSDAY 31 JULY, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856