Unions vow to target Cambell Newman
Premier Campbell Newman's assertion, that people thanked him for public service job cuts, enrages unions.PT0M0S 620 349
Doubts have been raised over the ability of the state government's 700-strong Shared Services team to assess redundancy packages for thousands of staff.
The sheer volume of sackings mean GoSuper currently cannot provide individualised advice in some cases for around six weeks
Public servants have now been forwarded self assessment forms, which are posted on the internal public service site GovNet.
Recently sacked public servants have been forwarded self assessment forms.
An ALP spokesman said public servants losing jobs are required to decide within two weeks on options for the treatment of their superannuation accounts.
"But the sheer volume of sackings mean GoSuper* currently cannot provide individualised advice in some cases for around six weeks," he said.
However, a spokesman for Minister Assisting the Premier on public sector reform Glen Elmes said the responsibility for redundancies varied between departments.
“There are shared service providers, like Queensland Shared Services, who have service arrangements with groups of departments and would process them on their behalf," the spokesman said.
“A couple of departments ... have internal payroll areas that process pays and would be responsible for processing redundancies.
“And the Public Service Commission will work with agencies affected by staff changes to find alternate placements for staff who choose not to accept a voluntary redundancy offer.”
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government's approach to public sector job cuts lacked the "humility" Premier Campbell Newman spoke of when he took office.
"It is appalling that the Newman government's job cuts are themselves impacting on the way government workers losing their own jobs are being treated," Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The sort of do-it-yourself redundancy system now being used to handle the vast number of sackings is nowhere near the 'humility, grace and dignity' the Premier promised would be the hallmarks of his government before the election."
Meanwhile, the public sector union has called for the Queensland government to urgently seek a ruling from the Australian Taxation Office on tax implications for staff sacked from the public service.
Together union secretary Alex Scott warned public servants could pay tax at different levels, depending on how their dismissal was ruled.
"There are different tax implications on how their benefits are paid out," he said.
"The difference in tax payout for the average public servant is in the order of tens of thousands of dollars."
Mr Scott said the ATO began to question the previous government's actions to reduce staff.
"The previous government was doing voluntary programs, time after time after time," he said.
"They would say these are legitimate staff redundancies and should be taxed less.
"Eventually the Tax Office said 'we don't believe you any more because you are doing it so often', so the previous government introduced the Voluntary Separation Package because the Tax Office would no longer provide the lower tax rates."
Mr Scott said it was now a very pressing issue for the 4400 public servants who were now self-assessing the taxation implications of their payouts from the public service.
He said the Queensland government must approach the ATO for a tax ruling.
"Would it be in the best interests of public servants if the state government got a tax office ruling about this change process? That is the question," he said.
Mr Scott said a ruling would make it easier for the ATO to give advice about the arrangements that are under way.
"I think one of the reasons why they are going down the forced retrenchment process rather than the (voluntary early retirement) process is that they do not want to go and ask for a tax ruling," he said.
Advice was sought from the ATO and the offices of Treasurer Tim Nicholls and Mr Elmes. That advice is expected this morning.
* QSuper replaced GoSuper as the trading name of the Queensland public sector superannuation fund from 2000.