By Paul Hemsley
The New South Wales government’s break-up of its single rail operator RailCorp has forced its senior managers to reapply for their positions after senior corporate jobs were split between replacement bodies Sydney Trains and NSW Trains.
The latest round of musical chairs at the transport provider comes as the NSW government prosecutes an aggressive attempt at a root-and-branch cultural overhaul of the transport bureaucracy that has jettisoned more than 1000 middle management jobs in the past year – only to have hundreds of ostensibly new management positions advertised in a campaign that spruiks a “once in a generation reform”.
The rail restructure was announced in May 2012 when Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian declared sweeping changes in the ‘Fixing the Trains’ policy that terminated RailCorp’s existence in favour of separate bodies to manage metropolitan and country rail lines from July 1st 2013.
A core element of the railway restructure has been the sacking of 750 middle managers to remove what the government has called a “inefficient and stifling bureaucracy”.
In November 2012, Ms Berejiklian gave notice that a further 690 middle management jobs would be axed.
The middle management roles will still be eliminated, however the inbound Sydney Trains and NSW Trains has advertised for top line executive positions to be filled, which were previously part of the outgoing RailCorp senior management structure.
The number of corporate roles ready to be filled at Sydney Trains and NSW Trains stands at 180 senior executive and management (on contract) positions.
RailCorp has rejected suggestions the latest corporate vacancies are effectively readvertised existing positions, saying they are “new roles in the new organisations”.
The spokesperson said that personnel presently employed at RailCorp who wished to apply for the advertised positions will need to do so through the competitive recruitment process.
Many RailCorp employees will need to apply for roles given that their present roles will be eliminated when RailCorp is abolished in July 2013.
Among the senior corporate roles advertised is a chief information officer, a role vacant since 2009 after former occupant Vicki Coleman departed the organisation.
According to the NSW government, the total number of frontline positions will remain the same under the new specialised railway operators.
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