The Public Service Association has vowed to fight a NSW Government plan to axe 35 jobs from the Revenue NSW Maitland office – a decision they claim has breached the employee award.
PSA general secretary Stewart Little said staff were called into a meeting last Thursday and informed of the decision to restructure the service unit.
He said there was no consultation over the decision, which went against the industrial award.
“There has been a lack of regard by the government,” he said. “It’s a disgrace.”
But a Revenue NSW spokesperson said a draft restructure management plan was provided to affected staff and the PSA for consultation last week.
“Affected staff and the PSA have been given the opportunity to comment and consult on the proposed changes,” the spokesperson said.
“Revenue NSW is providing comprehensive support services to all employees impacted by the changes.”
The PSA says the decision is unfair and has taken the matter to the Industrial Relations Commission.
“We just don’t think it’s justified,” he said. “The details are very sketchy.”
As part of the proposed changes, the services unit will be aligned to the other parts of the collection centre.
To replace the 35 lost positions, four higher-graded customer experience specialist roles will be created.
Mr Little said this would also impact people trying to appeal fines.
“If you have been unfairly fined and you ring to get that fine reviewed, that call should be handled by an experienced, impartial public servant,” he said.
"But under the new Revenue NSW every time you ring you will get someone who is working under a KPI to extract money from you.”
A Revenue NSW spokesperson said the new customer experience specialist roles “will support the continued focus on the resolution of fines appropriate to the circumstances of each customer”.
Mr Little said the 35 job losses, combined with the proposed transfer of 40 positions to Gosford, would have a terrible effect on the community.
He referenced the downsizing of Grafton jail as an example, saying that decision led to local pubs and other businesses closing down.
Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison said businesses in The Levee would really feel the hit from the loss of CBD jobs.
“That’s 75 pay packets that are not coming in to Maitland,” she said. “It has a multiplier effect.”
“There are going to be 90 people competing for the 55 jobs left – they’re not going to be spending up either.”
“People are hanging on in the CBD as it is.”