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Auckland Museum Staff Feeling Threatened

May 15, 2008

Auckland Museum Staff Feeling Confused And Threatened

Staff at Auckland Museum want their management to stop arguing about figures and full time equivalents and focus on the fact that they're feeling confused and threatened as a result of the museum's restructuring.

The PSA stands by its statement that the museum has told 66 of its 150 permanent staff that their jobs have been disestablished.

These staff have been told that they can apply for new positions created under the restructuring plan.

These positions will be advertised so there are no guarantees any of the staff, whose jobs have been made disestablished, will remain employed at the museum.

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.

Auckland Museum Trust Board chairman David Hill has issued a statement today which he says that the restructuring involves a move from 165 Full Time Equivalents (FTE's) to 168 FTE. He adds that in some instances there could be up to 5 or 6 people making up one FTE. He says that 28 roles have been distablished and 21 new roles will be advertised.

Mr Hill says the effect of the restructuring on staffing numbers will be minimal. But he ignores the fact that 66 permanent museum staff have been told their jobs have been diestablished and they have to apply for new positions which they may not get.

"The reality is 66 permanent museum staff may cease to work at the museum if they are not successful in obtaining one of the new positions created in the restructuring," says PSA National Secretary, Richard Wagstaff.

The PSA understands a further 31 fixed term staff, some of home have been working at the museum for more than 10 years, may not have their contracts renewed.

"The museum needs to recognise that their staff are feeling stressed and confused as a result of the restructuring," says Richard Wagstaff

"The museum can argue about figures but the reality is that 66 permanent staff have had their jobs disestablished and their is no guarantee they will remain working at the museum when the restructuring is completed."

The PSA, which now has 42 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.

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.

"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 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.


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