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Documents posted on a government website have revealed the Hodgman Government will use forced redundancies as part of its plan to cut over 1,000 jobs across public services.

Despite repeated promises before, during and after the March election that cuts would be make without resorting to forced redundancies it is now clear that forced redundancies will be used.

The documents indicate that where an employee whose duties have been made redundant has not been assigned replacement duties within 6 months their Head of Agency has been delegated the power to make them forcibly redundant.

“The decision to abandon its commitment to no forced redundancies is yet another broken promise from Will Hodgman,” Unions Tasmania President Roz Madsen said.

“It will cause widespread fear and uncertainty across a workforce already feeling high levels of stress from work overload and restructuring.

On the weekend the Mental Health Council of Tasmania raised concerns about the impact of public sector job losses on the mental health of workers and warned about an increased risk of suicide.

“The government is clearly aware of the impact this broken promise will have on the health of its workforce with Agencies boosting their employee assistance programs and reports that some Agencies have engaged mental health professionals to advise them on the implementation of cuts,” Community and Public Sector Union Secretary Tom Lynch said.

“Public sector workers will also feel disrespected by the Government’s failure to talk to them or their unions about this plan but instead sneak it up on their website without announcement.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation’s Kim Ford said the announcement was yet another blow to morale in an already deflated public service that is stretched to the limit delivering vital services Tasmanians rely on.

“Nurses and Midwives are still facing the fallout from the 2011 Budget Cuts. The double shifts and overtime as a result of staff cuts in 2011 is exacerbating the often increased workloads and exhaustion of nurses and midwives. This broken promise will make nurses and midwives rethink about staying in the health care system.

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