Northern recruitment policy unpopular among DPIPWE staff

The problem with the Northern Recruitment policy is that it has been dreamt up by politicians, not by the experts who advise them. It hurts families, and there are far better ways to revitalise employment in regional Tasmania. CPSU members support more public sector jobs – not just in the North, but across the North West.

CPSU Members have long pushed for Government to adopt state-wide advertising and to make our public sector accessible to the communities we serve, not just in how we deliver services but as a job-maker.

“Forcing First Nations Tasmanians to choose between a job and connection to country is simply inexcusable.”

If your job changes under the policy you’re forced to uproot and move your family to keep your job. The reality is that forcing staff to take their kids out of schools, ask their partner to give up their job and move away from friends and family can have a huge emotional toll.

The survey results show that jobs are simply being left vacant or filled on fixed term contracts as a loophole, increasing workloads for some and job insecurity for many more.

It is also not applied fairly. DPIPWE’s very own Secretary Tim Baker has been deemed exempt, despite the fact that his predecessor John Wittington was based in the North.  DPIPWE also refuses to exempt Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff. Forcing first nations Tasmanians to choose between a job and connection to country is simply inexcusable in 2020.

It’s time we scrapped the Northern Recruitment policy and advertise all suitable jobs state-wide. COVID has shown us just how many jobs can be done outside agency headquarters or from home with the right support. It’s a simple change in mindset, across all agencies, that would create far more job opportunities; not just in the North, but for all of regional Tasmania.

The positive impact such a change would have on small businesses and regional communities is too big an opportunity to ignore.

“Addressing the media in Launceston on Monday, Premier Peter Gutwein said he hadn’t yet seen the survey and so wasn’t in a position to comment on it.” (The Examiner, 22 December)

Thirza White

Acting Secretary

Community & Public Sector Union (SPSFT)

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