According to the union, workers’ safety could be at an all-time risk at the Water Corporation with the recent announcement made about a large percentage of its health and safety specialists likely facing termination within the next days.
Director Sarah Andrews of Professionals Australia reported that 12 out of the 40 personnel at the WA Water Corporation are scheduled to meet with their corresponding management on Friday for a thorough discussion on redundancy cases.
Director Andrews explained that the redundancy actions over occupational health and safety staff would definitely eliminate the organisation’s work around safety, with a worker falling from a platform and dying at the Australind Transfer Station in 2009. The Professionals Australia director added that safety must be prioritised at all cost.
She emphasised further that the organisation could not afford either any one or the water supply to be put at unnecessary risk. She further expressed her concern on how the Water Corporation could be irresponsible to have initially targeted the particular branch for the first round of redundancy actions.
Ms. Andrews added that Water Corporation did neither make any preliminary consultations with the authorities from Professionals Australia nor talked with the technical professionals that the organisation represents.
Ms. Andrews said she is greatly alarmed with the Water Corporation making cuts without meeting with specialists to talk on the issue; as it is, they do not have a good understanding of the consequences they will have to face with their actions, and that means both short and long term.
It has been reported that Water Corporation has been formally requested to send their respective comments on the future of workers in the safety branch.
The government-owned Water Corporation announced on Tuesday that they would be cutting 10 percent of their workforce, which accounts for about 300 full-time jobs to be completely eliminated for their payroll. The first round of the said redundancies will be started in the next coming weeks.
Sue Murphy, chief executive of Water Corporation, explained that the decision was reached as part of a rigorous review conducted across the entire organisation.
A spokesperson from the corporation explained that while there still is a considerably large capital investment program, Water Corporation will keep its primary focus on its operations and maintenance. With the nearing of the capital intensive phase of the corporation’s infrastructure investment and the population growth slowing down, the organisation needs to have the workforce changed to keep up with the services that are being provided.
Dave Kelly, who represents the opposition, said the enumeration reasons for the staff cutting is an outrageous violation of the company’s five-year plan issued by the minister in parliament last August. The same plan suggested that the company be given additional resources in the years to follow in order to maintain its infrastructure.
Mr. Kelly expressed his concern as to how the 300 jobs to be erased from the roll are just about financial decisions rather than a well-planned business strategy for the competition. He closed his comment on his frustration at how the steady stream of job losses that are being reported across the WA economy badly represents how the government oversees the post-mining sector boom.