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Invermay summit should serve as wake-up call

14 August 2013

Invermay summit should serve as wake-up call on regional public sector jobs

The Public Service Association says today’s Invermay summit in Dunedin should serve as a wake-up call on the importance and value of keeping good public sector jobs in the regions.

The PSA, which represents staff at AgResearch, is taking part in today’s summit which is being held in response to AgResearch’s decision to shift 85 jobs from Invermay to campuses in either Lincoln or Palmerston North.

Dunedin and the Otago region have seen a steady retrenchment of public sector jobs with government funding cuts forcing departments to restructure, rationalise and centralise services in a bid to save money.

In the past 18 months, about 123 public sector jobs have gone from the Otago region, not to mention large scale job losses at New Zealand Post and Kiwirail’s Hillside workshops.

PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff says “now on top of all that we have the AgResearch proposal which will take good jobs and skilled people out of the region at a time of high unemployment. Many staff won’t want to move but they will be left with little choice if they want to continue in what are specialised agricultural science roles.”

“Part of Dunedin’s reputation is also built on having a strong education and research community which needs to be maintained.”

“The Dunedin community is clearly saying enough is enough.”

“We hope this summit shows that the stripping out of public sector jobs in the regions through public service cutbacks and centralisation does nothing to promote regional growth and development,” Richard Wagstaff says.


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