Up to 45 Treasury department public servants were told on Wednesday they were out of a job.
Bosses at the department broke the news throughout the afternoon to the losers of the department’s “spill and fill” process that they were now “excess” to requirements and would be made redundant.
Staff at Treasury headquarters were offered counselling as the public servants chosen to lose their jobs were summoned for meetings with their executive directors.
The Canberra Times revealed last month that all 960 Treasury workers, including women away from work on maternity leave, had been told to apply for their own jobs with the losers in the process subjected to forced redundancy.
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The task of breaking the news was expected to be completed by Thursday morning and acting departmental secretary David Gruen pleaded for “support, privacy and space” for those told they would lose their jobs.
“I would also like to remind you that the details of staff who have been declared excess will not be released and it will be the decision of affected individuals to disclose this information,” Mr Gruen wrote in a message to workers.
“In workplace conversations, please be mindful of colleagues who have been directly affected by the (involuntary redundancy) process, recognising that you may not know who has been identified as excess.
“Please continue to provide one another with support, privacy and space.”
The Community and Public Sector Union said the spill and fill was ugly and unnecessary.
“The spill and fill process has been incredibly ugly for staff and it was entirely unnecessary,” the union’s national secretary Nadine Flood said.
“Treasury is losing some really experienced staff that both government and the wider public service need.
“We agree with [outgoing Treasury secretary] Martin Parkinson when he says that cuts this deep will do real damage to that agency’s capacity.
“Treasury is doing important work on things like the NDIS, and cuts of this magnitude will have an impact on its ability to do that kind of work.”