Corrections starts recruitment drive after job cuts

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 09:59 22/06/2012

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The Corrections Department is starting a recruitment drive at the weekend - despite yesterday confirming 130 jobs are to be axed.

Chief executive Ray Smith confirmed the restructure, first announced in May, which will hit staff in the national office and some regional offices and save $10 million.

Meanwhile, an advertising campaign to recruit ten regional managers will kick off at the weekend.

"It's one of the tricky things with these restructures," Smith said. "Whenever anyone changes the shape of the organisation they close down some jobs and create new ones. It's no different here.

"We have regional managers currently but not with the degree of responsibility we are creating in this new structure. In an overall sense there is less management, but the roles are getting bigger."

The new structure will allow regional staff to take more responsibility to make choices around prisoners.

No frontline staff will go.

Smith briefed 600 staff at head office yesterday and said the response had been "positive."

"Overwhelming they agree we need to change. The reality is people's jobs are at risk in these manager-leader roles but I think that most people can see that the changes make sense.

"In the frontline area we are always looking for new staff particularly in the prisons."

The restructure will see the three service arms of the department prisons, rehabilitation and probation brought together. The single unit would be responsible for the day-to-day management and rehabilitation of prisoners.

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley said it was a "streamlining" of management and that staff have contributed "constructively" to a consultation process.

"It's always sad when you have to lose staff but I understand we are doing our very best to find jobs for those as many of those who have lost them both within and outside the organisation."

Public Service Association national secretary Richard Wagstaff said Corrections must do "everything it can" to redeploy those affected.

He said there was "general support" but it shouldn't just be "a government-enforced cost and staff cutting exercise in disguise."

"We don't want to see them being pushed out the door with the loss of valuable knowledge and expertise."

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