Judge backs legality of government's decision to slash jobs

A LONG-running battle between Queensland's public service union and the State Government that sacked 14,000 of its workers has come to an end - with the court backing the legality of the government's actions.

The Together union took its fight to the Supreme Court on the grounds that a directive given by the Public Service Commission chief executive went beyond the power of the office and the role itself.

It was this order - Directive No.5 - given on June 29 which set the stage for a massive culling of Queensland's public service, by telling departments to review all jobs and pushing a restructure.

Together union's legal teams argued it was an illegal way of slashing jobs.

The government argued it was the job of the chief executive to decide how many staff could be cut from a department, or if a percentage across entire departments was appropriate.

More than 90 days after it heard the case on January 30, Judge Philip McMurdo decided while there was a question around the power of the commission's chief executive, a fight over Directive No.5 was not the way to answer it.

The application was dismissed.

Minister Assisting the Premier Glen Elmes said if the union wanted to do the right thing by members, it had to abandon the courtroom.

"The Together union leadership would do much better by its members if it stopped wasting money on fruitless legal challenges and sat down with the Government to discuss finalising the enterprise bargaining process," he said.

The Together union did not respond to requests for interview before deadline on Thursday



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