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Education Ministry must try harder to redeploy as many laid off workers as possible

The PSA is taking action to force the Ministry of Education to comply with its legal obligations to do everything it can to find other roles for staff it is laying off because of the Government’s spending cuts.

The Ministry today confirmed final decisions for many teams, with some 605 roles going out of a total of 755 proposed to be disestablished. This covers regional offices, the Curriculum Centre, central services, those who work directly with the education sector and in support of the wider education sector workforce.

"The Ministry is not complying with the collective agreement requirement to support workers impacted by the Government’s spending cuts to find other work," said Fleur Fitzsimons Assistant Secretary for Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

"This is simply unacceptable - losing a job for any individual is a huge deal and the Ministry must do better to exhaust every avenue to help people find other work in the Ministry including supporting them with retraining.

"These are humane provisions in the collective agreement designed to make best use of talented education experts and recognise the traumatic consequences the loss of livelihood has on an individual.

"We have made our concerns clear to the Ministry which has now requested independent mediation to resolve the issue which is a good start. It just shouldn’t have come to this when the collective agreement is crystal clear."

"We are also worried about the culture of contracting out at the Ministry when there are experienced people on the payroll who could do this work, such as in the Curriculum Centre, and not be laid off.

"The Ministry must do better when its restructure is having a significant impact on so many people’s lives, and their whānau and not rush the process.

"In the end, this is only happening because of the Government’s short term choice to fund tax cuts rather than properly resource the public service to meet our many challenges including lifting education achievement."

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