NSW DPC to cut 77 jobs, union says

By Shannon Jenkins

Monday May 10, 2021

Up the stairs and to the right. (Image: Adobe/Adwo)

A restructure within the New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) will see 77 jobs cut including nearly half of all ministerial driver positions, according to the Public Service Association.

PSA general secretary Stewart Little on Sunday said 18 of the 40 ministerial drivers were being made redundant, noting that their driving workload has been returning to pre-COVID levels.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“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.”

DPC will also cut 10 staff from Aboriginal Affairs — 6% of the workforce. The union said it has sought urgent clarification on which roles are being slashed, 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,” Little said.

The news has come a month after the union voiced concern over the government’s plan to cut 175 jobs from the Department of Communities and Justice.

According to the PSA, the government is being forced to cut staff from DPC to meet budget, after pausing its restructure plans during the pandemic. Little said the cuts would cost the state more in redundancy payouts while draining the service of ‘good, hardworking people’.

Over the weekend The Daily Telegraph reported a former NSW ministerial driver’s experiences in the role. The ex driver alleged that Premier Gladys Berejiklian was seen entering former MP Daryl Maguire’s private vehicle before their relationship was revealed during a corruption inquiry.

The former driver also described an ex minister urinating inside of a vehicle, a past premier demanding to be driven from Bathurst to Sydney at 2.30am, and drivers being forced to find their own way home after ministers had decided to keep their cars.

READ MORE: Tapped phones, Berejiklian and the disgraced pollie: How ICAC drove the NSW Government into crisis


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