Charity Regulator Staff Offered Voluntary Redundancies
13 February 2014 at 9:29 am
Staff at Australia’s beleaguered charity regulator, the ACNC, have been offered voluntary redundancies as part of a major public service jobs cutting move by the Australian Tax Office.
The Community Services Union, the CPSU, says a general internal communique to all staff at the Australian Tax Office went out last week offering 500 voluntary redundancies as the tax department is set to shed 900 positions.
ACNC staff, which number more than 90, have been caught up in the redundancy net, the Union said.
The move comes as Federal Parliament resumes this week and the Coalition Government continues with its plans to abolish the ACNC and replace it with a "Centre for Excellence" and system based on the US Charity Navigator.
“In a communique to staff the ATO called the process ‘an enterprise workforce refresh’ and told them they had until Friday 21st February to apply,” the CPSU said.
“This latest announcement shows that the Abbott Government’s austerity agenda is ploughing through the Public Service, cutting jobs and damaging essential services,” CPSU Deputy President Alistair Waters said.
Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh says the Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews needs to explain the implications of the redundancies for the charity regulator.
“Is this the beginning of the slow death of the Commission by sneaky cuts?” Leigh said.
The ACNC has confirmed that its staff are employed by the ATO and that they are on secondment to work with the charity regulator.
“It’s business as usual,” the spokesperson said despite the redundancies offer.
The voluntary redundancies have to be assessed on whether each position is valuable and the ACNC has been included in the offer to all ATO staff, the spokesperson said.
“There is no suggestion that this is particularly aimed at ACNC staff.”
Last week the Community and Public Sector Union condemned the decision to wind up the ACNC describing the move as short-sighted.
The Union said the move jeopardised the jobs of at least 70 public servants based in Melbourne.
“Kevin Andrews calls it a war on ‘red tape’. We say they are removing crucial oversight that ensures the public’s contributions to charities are handled in the correct and proper manner,” CPSU Deputy National President Alistair Waters said.
“Unfortunately the first casualties in Mr Andrews’ war are the hardworking staff who are doing an outstanding job of monitoring the charities and Not for Profit sectors, and the public who may not have confidence in a self-regulatory system.”