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Survey is a tribute to public service resilience

28th August 2012

Survey is a tribute to public service resilience

The Public Service Association says a survey showing New Zealanders are generally very satisfied with public services should be seen as a tribute to the resilience of public service workers rather than a justification for current and future cutbacks.

The Kiwis Count survey of more than a thousand New Zealanders was carried out earlier this year. It found generally high levels of satisfaction, particularly though greater accessibility to online transactional services.

PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott says while it’s heartening that New Zealanders still rank the public service highly, it’s come at a price for public service workers.

“Public servants have been battling the odds with the government’s public service staffing cap leading to the loss of at least 2500 jobs since National took office.”

“There are also serious staff shortages with government budget cuts and endless restructurings leading to thousands of unfilled vacancies across a range of departments. These vacancies put huge pressure on existing staff in terms of workload and we know that public service morale has fallen significantly,” she says.

The PSA believes the next survey could start to paint a different picture and reflect higher levels of public frustration.

“For example the survey did not capture the period when thousands of calls to IRD went unanswered during the peak tax season nor the problems being encountered by Housing New Zealand clients with a new centralised phone service,” Brenda Pilott says.

“It’s clear that public service workers are working hard to offset the effect of job losses and funding cuts and it would be nice to see the government acknowledging that.”


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