Cohesion - DIIRD - Organisational Change Drags On

Updated 22/04/2016

Budget Process Too Slow as Agency Staff Use Gets Out of Control!

The Department has been undergoing organisational change for a considerable length of time, and there is still no clear indication of which vacant positions are to be filled, and what positions are regarded as ‚Äö?Ñ??core for the purpose of replacing staff who resign/retire.

CPSU has written to DIIRD Secretary Howard Ronaldson seeking action.

There has supposedly been a staff freeze in place for over a year which has lead to burgeoning workloads and workplace stress.

CPSU understands that Managers must make a business case to replace a position, or the functions are simply absorbed by remaining staff. that There has been no corresponding discussion about reducing work output during this freeze!

The Department s slow budget process has contributed to workplace stress as Managers have indicated that the future of positions in a number of units is dependant on the budget.

CPSU members are being told that vacancies cannot be advertised until the budget is finalised.

CPSU members have been seeking advice on when this might be at Workplace Partnership Committee meetings, but have not received a response.

CPSU is aware that a number of units within DIIRD have been dealing with the staff freeze by the excessive and inappropriate use of temporary Agency staff.

Skills Victoria currently has 35 Agency staff and many staff at Workforce Participation are Agency staff.

CPSU believes the current practice undermines our PS career structure, is contrary to the commitments in the Victorian Public Service Agreement 2006 regarding the use of temporary staff, and is contrary to the principles of merit and equity enshrined in the Public Administration Act.

Positions currently being filled by Agency staff at Skills Victoria and Workforce Participation include VPSG5 and VPSG6 positions.

In the absence of certainty over the long-term future of these positions, they should at least be offered to current employees on a fixed-term basis as professional development through higher duties.

Agency staff do not go through a merit selection process, yet Agency staff acting in VPS positions have a clear advantage if and when the positions are eventually advertised.

In addition, CPSU finds it outrageous that Agency staff are currently managing VPS staff for any length of time.

Contact CPSU Industrial Officer Emily Castle email or phone 9639 1822 for further information, and to provide feedback on what s happening in your work area.

CPSU will advise its members of the Secretary s response.

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