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Put Pen To Paper

Put Pen To Paper

"Put Pen to Paper" is the slogan for the latest stage of the campaign to improve the standard of service from staff at the Department of Work and Income who do not comply with the stipulations of the Department's Charter and who leave claimants / enquirers feeling angry, frustrated, demoralised, judged and intimidated to the point where many dread any further contact with the Department. Even the sight of letters bring a wave of nausea and fear.

There are signs that the campaign is having an effect. Reports of case managers being friendly instead of their normal aggressive, arrogant, insensitive and judgmental behaviour have been coming in.

Even a report of an apology from the Regional Commissioner, the top administrator for the region, followed by a home visit by the Centre Manager.

Our recommendation is that if you have experienced the treatment and feelings listed above, put pen to paper. We know that can be incredibly difficult. All that is needed is to tell your story, the treatment you have had and the effects that has had on you, naming the staff member or members concerned. Send it to the Regional Commissioner (drop it in to any WINZ office) with a copy to the Minister of Social Services, freepost to Parliament, and a copy to me at the Poverty Action Group, P O Box 1206, Palmerston North. Include in your letter that you are sending the copies as this is vital to get serious consideration for your story and ensure that you are not victimised.

If you are not good with words or are too terrified, talk about it with a friend or the community group you most relate to. Someone will be able to write as you tell your story to them.

If you do this, you will not only improve the situation for yourself, you will be improving it for all the other people who that or those staff members deal with.

We ask for the support of people in community groups in this and other aspects of the campaign to get more people their legitimate entitlements and to have all claimants / enquirers treated respectfully and non-judgementally.

Ian Ritchie
Palmerston North Poverty Action Group
06 354 3804 w
06 3289 618 h

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