There must be a review of the processes being used by the Rann Government in offering targeted voluntary separation packages to public servants.
Evidence given by the Education Department’s CEO, Chris Robinson, to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee has raised a number of serious concerns including complaints from staff that improper and unacceptable pressure was being applied to staff to accept TVSPs.
“Mr Robinson confirmed details of a recent complaint from a husband and wife employed in DECS which was so serious a senior departmental officer was suspended whilst a disciplinary inquiry was conducted,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
Mr Robinson’s response to the question of whether all the proper processes were followed was:
Mr ROBINSON: “There was a concern which was found to be valid in the disciplinary process…There was certainly an error of judgment, if I can put it that way, in relation to the way this case was particularly handled.”
“If the Rann Government maintains its promise that all separations will be voluntary, then it is obviously unacceptable if senior officers are improperly pressuring staff into accepting separation packages,” he said.
Other concerns raised about the TVSP process were:
• A TVSP being given to the former Manager of Injury Management within DECS, even though the position wasn’t surplus and still exists with another person appointed to the position; and,
• A TVSP of about two years’ salary being given to a 66 year-old employee in DECS when the employee had social work qualifications which might have been useable in other departments desperate for workers with such qualifications.
“Given the impending massive Budget cuts due to Rann Government mismanagement and incompetence, there will obviously be hundreds – if not thousands – more TVSPs to be offered in the next year or so,” Mr Lucas said.
“If the current policy remains, then it is imperative that taxpayers’ money is used wisely and that staff are treated properly by the Rann Government under the TVSP process.”