Standing up for Canberra

Department of Health employees nervously await cuts

Federal Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann and Labor Senator for the ACT Kate Lundy have today said that Department of Health employees are concerned following staff meetings on Wednesday afternoon where they were told that at least 350 jobs would be cut from the department, including some redundancies.

“Staff have been told there are going to a number of redundancies, but they don’t know exactly how many or in what areas,” Ms Brodtmann said.

“We’re seeing a recurring pattern with the Abbott Government. Job cuts are announced, but staff are provided with no detail about where, when and how many. They’re operating under a cloak of secrecy.

“This is creating a great deal of uncertainty not just in the public service but across the whole economy of the ACT region.

Ms Brodtmann and Senator Lundy say Department of Health employees need to know:

  1. How many redundancies are being offered, and over what time-frame?
  2. Will the job cuts be targeted, and if so in what areas?
  3. How many positions are expected to be lost through natural attrition?

“Prior to the election, Prime Minister Abbott said that public service cuts would be made through natural attrition, said Senator Lundy.

“His local representative, Liberal Senator Seselja spun this line throughout the election campaign. He said on numerous occasions that the Coalition’s policy was to only cut jobs through natural attrition.

“Well, we are now seeing redundancies being rolled out across many departments, including Attorney-Generals, Treasury, Finance and Environment and now Health.

“From our perspective, Senator Seselja has a lot of explaining to do. He promised job losses through natural attrition alone, that’s not what is now happening, and Canberrans deserve to know what is going on.