A hundred WorkCover staff are in limbo after being told yesterday that senior positions would be relocated to Sydney sparking fears up to three-quarters of staff could follow, according to the NSW Public Service Association.
General Secretary John Cahill says many of these workers had moved with Workcover from Sydney to Gosford about a decade ago. The high cost of living and housing pressure in Sydney means few workers can afford to move again.
“The relocation of up to 100 Workcover staff from Gosford to Sydney would place immense strain on workers, their families and the economic growth of Gosford,” Mr Cahill said today.
“The motivation for the move remains unclear, but what we’d say to Government is don’t blame the hard-working staff for the performance of the Workcover scheme.
“Workers have been told no decision has been made about the relocation of positions below those of Directors, but we hold grave concerns that up to three-quarters of staff may have to make the move. It doesn’t make sense to move upper management kilometres away unless their staff are soon to follow.
“Our members are telling us they fear being lodged between a rock and hard place. A move of this magnitude will involve considerable financial hardship for many staff, yet commuting from the Central Coast to Sydney daily could seriously impact on their quality of life and time available for family.
“It also calls into question whether this is the first step by the Government to wind back support for the decentralisation of the public sector.
“The impact on Gosford alone could run into millions of lost dollars for local business.
“The NSW Public Service Association ask the NSW government to carefully think through the hardship imposed on Workcover employees and the local Gosford economy if a move from offices in Gosford to Sydney goes ahead,” Mr Cahill said