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Almost 14 per cent of AusAID staffers ask for redundancy

Nearly 14 per cent of AusAID staffers have asked for voluntary redundancies since the overseas aid agency was abolished.

By contrast, fewer than 4 per cent of their new colleagues at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have put up their hands to share in the department's redundancy program.

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The department has confirmed that more than 350 of its public servants have applied for redundancy payouts; more than 210 of them formerly from AusAID.

But it is unlikely there will be enough golden handshakes available for all those who want them, with just 26 offers of redundancy made, according to the latest available figures.

The number of DFAT staffers applying for redundancies represents about 7 per cent of the two agencies' combined APS workforces before the scrapping of AusAID and its takeover by DFAT.

Foreign Affairs officials have been bridling behind the scenes at the description of the move in foreign aid circles as a "hostile takeover", preferring the term "integration".

AusAID had about 1650 workers employed under the Public Service Act in June 2013, according to the latest official figures from the Public Service Commission, while DFAT had about 3398.

According to a statement from DFAT's media unit, only 26 redundancies had been given the green light by departmental bosses as of February 6 and the process was likely to continue for another four months.

There were no details forthcoming on how many redundancies are ultimately planned and which sections of the business they will come from.

The merger which was described last year by departmental boss Peter Varghese as a "lengthy and complex process", and is being managed by a dedicated taskforce within DFAT.

"The call for expressions of interest in voluntary redundancy resulted in more than 350 [expressions of interest] across the merged department," the spokesman said in his statement.

"About 60 per cent of staff expressing interest in voluntary redundancy were employees of AusAID prior to integration. 

"As at February 6, 2014, the department had approved 26 formal offers of voluntary redundancy, about 54 per cent of which were for AusAID employees prior to integration. 

"The department will continue to make offers of voluntary redundancy until 30 June 2014."

3 comments

  • Not surprising - I worked for one of the Big 4 Banks - when a "competitor" was acquired most of those in senior management roles "coming in" to the "merged" organisation were either made redundant prior to Day 1 or put their hand up. Not nice to be consigned to "Team Z" and on the outer.

    Commenter
    MST
    Date and time
    February 20, 2014, 10:10PM
    • Not surprising, under DFAT they may have to actually do some work and promotion will be on merit and not gender.

      Commenter
      Ted
      Date and time
      February 21, 2014, 6:01AM
      • That's easily understood - AusAID staffers are employable outside the APS

        Commenter
        Elizabeth
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        February 21, 2014, 8:32AM
        Comments are now closed
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