KEVIN Rudd has downplayed reports he and his ministers treat staff like dogs as a near-record employee burnout of almost 60 per cent in just more than two years has been revealed.
Despite Mr Rudd pledging to tear up former prime minister John Howard’s hated WorkChoices, 262 ministerial staff – from a total of 444 positions – have departed since Labor came to office.
Three ministers have recorded staff turnover of more than 100 per cent, with Youth and Sport Minister Kate Ellis having 13 departures from a staff of 10. At least one was a part-time university student while several others left to have families.
The Prime Minister himself has lost 28 staff, with Government insiders describing his office as resembling a “transit lounge”.
Rudd is well known as being near impossible to work for. He dreams up crazy ideas and demands they are implemented within days, and has temper tantrums when they are not. His own colleagues resent his style, almost as much as his staff do.
But Mr Rudd said the high pressure of a political office meant it couldn’t be compared to the private sector.
“It’s a tough life. People often have to relocate, there are crazy hours, it’s very intense, people are on the phone wanting X, Y and Z done in a short period of time,” he told Fairfax radio today.
“But I go back to the simple fact: We are elected by the Australian people to do a job.”A staff working year is probably like a dog year, that is it’s probably worth seven years in normal life.
“So if folks stay with me for three or four years, that’s probably 28 or 30 years or more in actual time.”
This is spin. Jobs in Parliament are definitely tough with long hours and an ever changing array of issues. And MPs demands can be frustrating as travel and appointments often change at the last minute. This is why the turnover rate is higher than the normal 10% private sector.
However 60% over two years is very high for any Ministerial office, let alone the PMs Office. The PMs Office is sort of top of the food chain, and it has to be pretty bad for people to leave the office after just a year or two. Most people wait for an election.
Taking John Key’s office as a comparison, I think John has had only two staff leave in two years. One to go overseas and one to have a baby. So Rudd’s claim of a 60% departure rate being normal, is not the case.
Some former staff are privately seething at his management style, claiming he can fly off the handle at a moment’s notice.
Never good to have former staff slag you off. Most former staff of a PM stay ferociously loyal.
Brooklyn Group CEO Brian Russell also queried why Government advisers had left in droves.
`You shouldn’t be having 100 per cent turnover in any team. If you’ve got autocratic management, lack of direction – basic fundamentals – especially in a small group, people will leave,” he said.
Bingo.Tags: Kevin Rudd