Yesterday was my last day at work before leaving for our trip to Central Queensland. It was a strange day for me. My boss asked for a quick meeting early in the morning. We talked about the budget coming up next Tuesday, a budget that will be life changing for many public servants in Queensland. Campbell Newman, the Premier of Queensland, is determined to reduce the size of the Public Service. My group should be safe, I told myself. Our services are essential – at least in the short term. In the long run it would be possible to transfer our responsibilities to other units. I did not expect that the budget would have an immediate impact on me or my teammates.
The meeting with my boss certainly changed that perception. He expects changes will happen quickly. His questions:
- Will you be contactable?
- If it came to it, would you prefer to take the redundancy package?
- Would you prefer to be put on the list of Public Servants seeking redeployment?
Will I still have a job when I return from my holidays? An official email reminding us to keep in contact with work during the next week reinforced the feeling that something is going to happen.
I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out my entitlements, should I decide to take voluntary retirement, trying to figure out the effect on my super. Ironically on Thursday I had a meeting with Q-Invest discussing our financial situation. I told the consultant, I intended to work past 65 and I didn’t think I would be eligible for a voluntary retirement package. What a difference 24 hours can make.
How do I feel today? Although we would be worse off financially, there are advantages. For a start I wouldn’t have to go back to work. We would be caravanning a lot earlier. I do enjoy our caravan trips.
I will follow the budget and it’s consequences as much as I can while travelling through Queensland’s outback. At the same time I am determined to enjoy my holidays, not to let the uncertainty interfere with our trip.
Today we did final preparations. Tomorrow we are off. First stop will be at the Kinbombi Falls, between Goomeri and Kilkivan.