Sunday, 16 February 2014

How the "Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs"* operates

The Canberra Times 15 February 2914:

Hundreds of Aboriginal public servants drafted into Tony Abbott's department to help "close the gap" are being paid up to $19,000 less than their new white colleagues doing the same jobs.
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has more than 260 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bureaucrats, brought in from the old FaHCSIA department in a plan to bring indigenous policy under the PM's control.
But while the Prime Minister spoke last week of "closing the gap" in indigenous disadvantage in Australia, hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bureaucrats were settling into their new jobs working for Mr Abbott's department on wages well below those of their new non-indigenous co-workers.
There was more bad news for the department's officials on Friday afternoon as Secretary Ian Watt told his staff that PM&C could not afford to maintain its present staffing levels and that job losses were inevitable.
In another blow to indigenous voices in the federal arena, representative body the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples says it is sacking two-thirds of its workforce, a loss of 23 jobs, after the federal government cut its funding.
The new Prime Minister's Department recruits from the old FaHCSIA department and 854 of the non-indigenous employees have been told they will not be getting the same wages as their new well-paid co-workers at PM&C and will continue to be paid their old salaries.
Wages are about on par for the most junior employees, but there are big gaps further up the pay scale with a mid-level APS6 former FaHCSIA official earning $12,000 less than their PM&C counterpart.
In junior to middle management ranks, a level 1 executive from the old indigenous department can be up to $19,000 a year worse off than their PM&C colleague.
PM&C is one of the public service's best-paid departments and among its least culturally diverse....

* “It is my hope that I could be not just a prime minister, but a Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs” [Tony Abbott, Garma Festival, August 2013]


John Fraser said...


Abbott wants to be a "Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs".

"Self determination would give Indigenous communities final say over the resources in areas populated mainly by Indigenous people."

Does anyone seriously believe that Abbott, who is owned by the mining companies, would allow that ?

Anonymous said...

John, Can the rest of us have self-determination by having "final say over the resources in areas populated mainly by Indigenous people."?