The axe is hanging over the jobs of another 8000 public servants at the Australian Taxation Office as the agency subjects their workplaces to a round of "corporate reviews".
Unions are predicting that more than 2000 tax officials will be facing the dole queue before the restructure is over, but taxation bosses are pledging they will try to find work for those displaced in the reviews.
The reviews and any resulting job losses will come on top of the 3000 redundancies expected by October as the ATO bears the brunt of the Abbott government’s public service cuts.
New official figures from the tax office confirm that more than 1140 public servants left with redundancy packages in the 2013 -2014 financial year and that more than 1750 golden handshakes were either planned or underway as the agency battles to meet its targeted cuts.
The tax office says its new reviews will allow a crack down on “duplication” and “find efficiencies” as part of its Vision 2020 strategy for long-term reform.
Six business areas are being reviewed: plan and manage, strategy, risk and intelligence, marketing and communication, data analytics and reporting. The ATO’s project management office and its design and build unit together employ nearly 8000 tax officials.
Tax bosses say the business units will be redesigned under the “hub and spoke” management model.
The thousands of tax officials who will affected by the reviews were told by email last week and unions are unhappy, with the Australian Services Union saying the reviews mean the end for thousands more tax office careers.
ASU official Jeff Lapidos was scornful of the official position; that efforts will be made to find new jobs within the taxation office for workers who find themselves displaced when the reviews conclude in November.
“A lot of people are going to lose their jobs out of these reviews, more than 2000 people,” the union official said.
“The taxation office has given no indication about where they could be redeployed.
“You’ve got 3000 voluntary redundancies, then you’ve got almost 8000 people subject to restructuring, at least a couple of thousand will lose their job,” he said.
“That’s not the end of it because on top of that they are committed to reducing layers of management.
“Then to make matters worse, they are seeking to make a new enterprise agreement where they are not prepared to share any of the productivity gains.
“It’s instability upon instability upon instability.”
An tax office spokeswoman said the reviews were not about targeting reduced numbers of workers.
“The aim of the reviews is not to identify excess positions or reach a particular target,” she said.
“It is about finding the most effective and efficient model for a capability or function to eliminate duplication and to deliver a whole of ATO approach.
“If any further staff adjustments are required then they will be delivered by our normal business-as-usual processes including attrition and redeployment.”
Meantime, the new figures reveal that 1144 public servants were made redundant in the 2013-2014 financial year leaving the ATO with a total headcount, including casuals and temporary workers, of 23,631.
Another 443 redundancies are “planned” and 1315 payouts have been offered.
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