Members most likely received an email yesterday from the Head of State Service outlining that the State Service Review that had been put on hold has recommenced, and the long and the short of what she says is that it's started, will provide a first response to the Premier in just over 4 weeks and there'll be a final report on 31 March.
Ridiculously, the actual review itself will take less time to complete than it did for the government to finalise its terms of reference, and no right-minded person who understands the complexity of public sector organisation and governance would ever take such a brash approach to such an important issue.
Smell a rat?
When HACSU's Tim Jacobson and others met with the reviewer last week he was underwhelmed by the level of engagement shown by the reviewer on what is such an important matter - anyone who has a look will see the actual terms of reference are so broad it's impossible to understand exactly what it is the government is looking to do, and last week’s meeting didn't in any way clarify this.
The government is looking to review the public sector and make changes - we all know that’s why governments conduct reviews - and we're seriously concerned they're steamrolling ahead in a climate where no one really knows how the pandemic will change and shape our world into the future.
What we do know for sure is the public sector will be vital in supporting those in our state who'll be left behind, without jobs and in need of care, and we feel the government is taking an enormous risk pressing ahead with the review right now.
Last week, HACSU and other public sector unions wrote to the Premier outlining our serious concerns and requesting that the review be delayed so a genuine process of consultation occurs, but the letter you received this week from the Head of State Service would clearly indicate to us that he intends to ignore our request - as of today, we still haven't had a reply from the Premier.
Still smell a rat?
This update to HACSU members is sent as a counterbalance to the official communication sent to them yesterday.
Public sector unions are meeting tomorrow to discuss how best to respond to this situation and, as usual, we'll keep members updated as events unfold.