The PSA has been having regular meetings with DPIE management since the Machinery of Government (MoG) changes that led to the current DPIE cluster. The Secretary, Jim Betts, has attended a number of these meetings.
Over the past few months, management has been advising us of areas where it can make savings that do not lead to job losses. As you know, DPIE has been tasked by the NSW Government of implementing more than $80 million dollars in cuts this financial year. These measures have included restricting the use of consultants, reducing the amount of senior executives, cutting back on travel expenses and the closing down of offices that comes with the Parramatta move. DPIE has informed us it has have made roughly $45 million dollars in savings so far. However, that leaves approximately $35 million still to cut.
At our most recent meeting on 1 November 2019 we were advised of the next stages in making cuts. DPIE is currently looking at finding further savings amongst its temporary and contingent labour. In terms of temporary employees, it will look at short -term employees first. The PSA believes there are a number of long-term temporary staff members who should have been made ongoing long ago. The PSA does not believe that these staff members should be disadvantaged because of the Department dragging their heels on conversion, and will advocate for the conversion of long term temporary staff members to ongoing positions.
DPIE has informed us that there are a number of areas that face major budgetary challenges and associated change from February 2020. These areas include:
- Regions, Industry, Agriculture and Resources (RIAR)
- Planning and Assessment
- People Performance and Culture
- Corporate Services
- Environment, Energy and Science (EES).
It advises no decisions have been made as yet and it will discuss with the union when it has firmed its position. No major change should be implemented before Christmas.
It is the PSA’s view that, after years of restructuring, and cuts to the majority of both the previous Department of Industry and Department of Planning and Environment, there is nothing left to cut without further affecting the quality of services delivered to the public. That often-used phrase that they “are trimming the fat” wasn’t true years ago. But as it stands now, the Department will need to dig deep and remove vital organs.
These cuts have come from this Government. The PSA is here to fight for you in these upcoming times of change and uncertainty. If you are not a member, or know a colleague who is not a member, now is the time to join.
What we need now is contacts in every area, every site, everywhere. To best support you we need clear connections to you. The PSA is member driven. We listen to our members and we appreciate the knowledge our members have. Over the coming months there will be a lot to discuss.
If you would like to be a contact for your area, please email your PSA Organiser.
For Regions, Industry and Agriculture: Graydon Plumridge on email@example.com.
For Planning and Assessment, People Performance and Culture, Corporate Services, Environment, Energy and Science: Harry Wall on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not a member? There has never been a more important time to join your union. Join today at www.psa.asn.au or call the PSA Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.