Auckland Museum Has Failed To Justify Redundancies
PSA MEDIA RELEASE
May 15, 2008
For Immediate Use
Auckland Museum Has Failed To Justify Major Redundancies
The PSA is alarmed that the Auckland War Memorial Museum has told almost half its permanent staff that their jobs have been disestablished and they will have to apply for and gain new jobs if they want to remain working at the museum.
“This is alarming because the museum’s director has failed to show why such large scale redundancies are needed,” says PSA National Secretary, Richard Wagstaff.
Auckland War Memorial Museum director, Vanda Vitali, has told 66 of her 150 permanent staff that their jobs have been disestablished.
The PSA understands that a further 31 staff on fixed term contracts may not have their contracts renewed. Some of these ‘fixed term’ staff have been working at the museum for more ten years.
The staff affected have been told that they can apply for new positions created under the restructuring plan. These will be advertised so there are no guarantees any of the staff, whose jobs have been made redundant, will remain employed at the museum.
“Staff have heard a lot of ‘management speak’ about the need to change the ‘museum culture’,” says Richard Wagstaff.
“But the museum’s director has not shown why around half the staff need to face redundancy to achieve this change.”
The PSA, which has 35 members working at the museum, believes the management needs to be much clearer about what it’s trying to achieve with the restructuring. It also needs to demonstrate the need for the changes.
“The museum should then begin working with its staff to achieve its goal,” says Richard Wagstaff.
“This would be far more effective than the huge loss of institutional knowledge that will result if around half the staff are made redundant,” says Richard Wagstaff.
“There are staff affected who have been working at the museum for more than 20 years and they’ve built up a high level of skill and institutional knowledge.”
The PSA has asked Auckland Museum to allow the staff, whose jobs have been made redundant, to take up any new positions created by the restructuring.
“We think the least the museum can do is give loyal employees an opportunity to take up the new positions created by the restructuring,” says Richard Wagstaff. “We’re very disappointed that the museum has rejected this proposal.”
“We continue to appeal to the museum to return their loyalty and hard work by giving the affected staff the first chance to gain the new positions created under the restructuring,” says Richard Wagstaff. “We want to continue talking to the museum about how it implements the restructuring.”
The PSA was very concerned when we first became aware of the restructuring that the staff were not entitled to any redundancy payment.
“We have now negotiated a redundancy package that will apply to all staff who lose their jobs as a result of the restructuring,” says Richard Wagstaff.