Half of NSW’s ministerial drivers have lost their jobs, while Aboriginal Affairs has suffered a 6% reduction to staff as the Premier’s own department is forced to cut staff to meet budget.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet has issued 18 redundancies for drivers, effectively halving the 40-strong workforce, just as their driving workload begins to return to pre-COVID levels. The cuts come as part of a wider restructure which will see 77 jobs go across the department, including a 6% reduction to the Aboriginal Affairs staff.
“Last I checked there weren’t any fewer politicians – so to halve the workforce with phoney redundancies saddles the remaining team with an enormous workforce,” said Stewart Little, general secretary of the Public Service Association.
“It’s making an Uber for pollies – drivers will be left with worse conditions, under resourced, and pulling longer hours to keep up with the workload. During a busy period you can have drivers working really long hours – up to 90 hour weeks as they’re available to ministers around the clock. The possibility their conditions are going to be eroded is hugely concerning.
The union has sought urgent clarification on what 10 roles are leaving Aboriginal Affairs, but has been rebuffed by the department.
“This government talks about wanting to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in NSW, but then at the same time cuts the agency working on doing this.”
During COVID-19 the government paused its restructure plans, but has returned to reviewing the number of staff.
“Endless cuts to the NSW public sector doesn’t make the state stronger, it costs us more in redundancy payouts and drains the service of good, hardworking people.”
Stewart Little 0434 062 079