Bligh calls for senior executives to retire from public service

By Angela Dorizas

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has announced a shake-up of the state’s public service, with the launch of a new job for job scheme to replace corporate employees with front line staff.

Under the scheme up to 250 senior public servants will voluntarily retire from the Queensland Public Service, clearing the way for new, younger employees in entry level front line service delivery roles, such as child safety officers, customer service workers and school support staff.

“There are no forced redundancies,” Bligh said.

“This is a voluntary scheme approved by the Australian Tax Office.

“For each senior executive and senior officer who accepts the offer and retires early, their department will redirect resourced to create a new graduate or school leaver level job in service delivery.”

Corporate support roles to be affected by the new scheme include finance, human resources, information management, information technology, assets and facilities, communications, marketing, law, planning, policy, internal audit, evaluation, review, performance management and reporting, and executive administration.

The job for job scheme is expected to cost up to $27 million, but will pay for itself within two years, the Premier said.

The Queensland Public Sector Union (QPSU) has called on the State Government to reveal the full details of the voluntary early retirements.

QPSU general secretary Alex Scott said public sector workers were “steadfastly opposed” to any reduction in public sector jobs and services.

“Before these 250 voluntary early retirements are finalised and senior staff walk out the door, we are calling on the government to reveal the full details about the 250 front line service delivery jobs that are allegedly being created as part of a government workforce program renewal,” Scott said.

He said it was not clear whether the new jobs would be full time, permanent positions.

“We want to know whether the new jobs that the government has promised are genuine and ensure they are not just dusting off jobs that have been slated for some time in forward budgets,” Scott said.

“Employers are within their legal rights to call for voluntary early retirements but not at the expense of a core jobs retention election promise and the government’s declared jobs creation focus.”

The new positions, however, will not be announced until final positions for voluntary retirement have been identified, Bligh said.

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