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New Zealand: Public service battles job cuts

31 August 2012
Parliament building Wellington, New Zealand
More than 500 people have lost their jobs government administration In New Zealand. The public sector union is questioning how far the government is willing to rundown the public service.

During the last six months, 555 positions within the core government administration in New Zealand have been taken out of the system - and as part of that, 526 people have lost their jobs, according to New Zealand’s public sector union, PSA.

"The government is continuing to chip away at the public service and take away frontline jobs.  These latest figures mean that since National took office about 3000 workers have been forced out of work.  It’s just more evidence that the cap on the public service is really about cuts,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

Government budget cuts and restructuring within the public service are creating major staff shortages with the number of unfilled positions increasing by 700 this year to 3263.

Brenda Pilott says “In some agencies the number of unfilled vacancies is as high as 30 per cent.  These vacancies put huge pressure on existing staff in terms of workload.  Ironically the States Services Commission, which is responsible for co-ordinating the government’s better public services programme, is carrying unfilled vacancies of more than 20 per cent.”

“The government has set some very ambitious targets in terms of delivering better public services but the capacity to meet them is being constantly undermined.”

Read more on PSAs homepage.


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