Back-office jobs uncertainty

BACK-office employees of the State Government may be first to go on the list of job cuts, in a move to preserve the number of front-line public sector workers.

While still uncertain of where the reduction in public service jobs will come from, State Member for Morwell Russell Northe said it was safe to say Gippsland would not be exempt from a plan to slash an additional 600 jobs on top of the 3600 announced previously.

“Each department will be working with the view to find efficiencies; in some cases, short-term contracts and consultants will not be renewed or replaced,” Mr Northe said when asked to comment on fears government departments would slash staff numbers.

“The State Government is still committed to adding 1700 new police members and 940 protective services officers across the state because we don’t want to compromise frontline services.”

Acknowledging the challenges of the situation, Mr Northe said the public sector workforce was “unsustainable”.

“Under the previous (Labour) government, public sector jobs were growing in excess of five per cent while population growth was only two per cent,” he said.

“Announcements of job losses will be ongoing and continue to 1 July, 2013.

“We don’t know yet how this will be formulated.”

In an austere state budget, the Victorian government announced 600 jobs would be cut from the payroll, while senior public servants will have pay rises capped at 2.5 per cent.