'Labor planned to cut health jobs'
ABOUT 4000 Queensland Health employees were targeted for redundancies in the last days of the former Labor Government.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg tied in the revelation during his defence of his own 2754 jobs cuts to Queensland Health.
Mr Springborg said the former Labor Government sent letters of expressions of interest to 3976 employees to participate in their "voluntary separation program".
"Three thousand, nine hundred and seventy-six was the number of Queensland Health public servants declared surplus and unattached by Labor," Mr Springborg said.
But Public Service Commission figures tabled to Parliament showed only 852 employees accepted the redundancy offers.
"Eight hundred and fifty-two accepted a VSP and unions and Labor MPs said nothing," Mr Springborg said.
"Some VSP recipients had front-line designations.
"They were nurses and health practitioners, but Labor said nothing."
Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the Government was trying to distant itself from sacking 14,000 public servants by offensively comparing their job purge to voluntary redundancies.
"The truth of the matter is that the Labor Government asked a pool of non-frontline workers if they would like to be considered for redundancy under our government's measured Voluntary Separation Program," Mr Pitt said.
"These offers were made only to workers whose separation from the public sector would not impact on services.
"Ultimately, up to 9000 workers indicated they would like to receive an offer and 3500 workers were given a package."
Mr Pitt said 40,000 public servants were identified as non-front line but at no stage were the jobs been under threat.
He said it was subsequently announced in the Mid Year Review that a further 1500 offers would be available, taking the total of voluntary separations to 5000.