The PSA has received a response from the Department on the restructure. You can view their response HERE.
Extension of time/EOIs
Members will note that the PSA asked that the one-week consultation period be extended. The Department agreed to an extension of another week – the PSA understands this afforded staff, especially secondees, more time to have a dialogue with Executive Directors in other parts of P and B Division they may have been interested in working in. The PSA remains unconvinced, however, that even two weeks is a sufficient timeframe for proper consultation to occur when 20 per cent of the affected cohort faces redundancy.
Limiting EOIs to two preferences reduced the ability for staff to apply for other positions to extend the scope of opportunity should they miss out on those first two preferences. Our industrial advice to members was that they should express an interest in three or four positions to broaden that scope.
Other roles in Treasury
The PSA also raised the issue of why there were recent rounds of recruitment in the P&B division and why would staff face redundancies if there are further recruitments planned.
Treasury declined to answer this critical question – why run recruitment rounds when a restructure was likely to occur and with a number of staff on secondment?
The Department’s response was silent on the question of recruitment of 11/12 positions in Commercial Commissioning and Procurement.
Change management strategy?
The Department commented that future workloads should be manageable.
However, it would appear that no risk assessment was undertaken on workloads for remaining staff so it is not clear how they know this, particularly given that all branches are losing positions. It also does not appear that a change management strategy has been set up to ensure that change is managed appropriately across the Department.
Treasury has noted that the creation of a Financial Cluster Analytic branch should address the issue by providing TAA opportunities during workload peaks and troughs. It is unclear what this means and how such an assessment has been made.
The PSA notes that this may be the “thin end of the wedge” in an attempt to fully separate financial and policy roles. Analysts in the P and B division have previously raised concerns about any separation – policy work at Treasury needs to consider fiscal sustainability as well as service impacts and requires an understanding of the financial operations of agencies.
Further change is expected across all agencies. There has never been a more important time to be a union member. Join the PSA online: psa.asn.au/join.