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Capping update reveals public service cuts

Sept 08, 2011

Capping update reveals public service cuts

Job cuts are draining skills and knowledge from the public service and creating a health and safety time bomb, says the PSA.

The National Government’s update on staff numbers within the core public service and crown entities shows that nearly 2,400 jobs have been lost in the past two-and-a-half years. Combined with unfilled vacancies the amount tops 5,500.

“Along with sacking people, the government is holding onto over 3,000 empty jobs. These are real jobs and work needs to be done so it has to be asked who’s carrying the load or what’s not being done as a consequence?” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

This continued squeeze on resources is set to continue as public sector agencies shave nearly a billion dollars from their individual budgets as a consequence of more Government cutbacks.

“State Services Minister Tony Ryall refers to these job cuts as ‘on-going changes in staff positions’, but it’s important to consider that every public service job cut is actually a person lost, along with their skills, knowledge and experience, which all goes towards ensuring a service is delivered to those who need it.

“Some public service workers and their families will be jumping ship altogether and going overseas, so New Zealand loses the investment in their education along with their expertise, skills and knowledge.

“We know of several hundred job cuts in the pipeline in the coming months, but on-going cuts will result in a run-down public service. It’s unrealistic to expect overloaded, under-resourced departments to continue to deliver vital services to New Zealanders without there being an impact.

“We know from our recent women’s survey that in order to cope with increasingly heavy workloads, public servants are gifting millions of additional hours they’re not contracted for, but that is not sustainable when it’s being used to prop up under-resourced agencies with unfilled vacancies. It’s a health and safety time bomb.

“For all the Minister’s talk of ‘moving resources to the frontline’ many of those losing their jobs are in the regions, far from Wellington head offices.

5,500 jobs either cut or lying empty isn’t about moving resources; it’s about wholesale cuts to New Zealand’s public service,” says Brenda Pilott


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