5 Apr 2024

Pessimistic public servant eyes move overseas

7:47 pm on 5 April 2024
Empty office desks and chairs

Proposals for job cuts across the public service sector are coming thick and fast. Photo: Unsplash

A public servant forced to reapply for her role says competition in the job market means she will look for better opportunities overseas.

Proposals for job cuts across the sector are coming thick and fast with staff bracing themselves for the worst.

On Thursday the Ministry of Health proposed to cut 134 jobs and close the Suicide Prevention Office to meet demands to cut costs.

A worker at the ministry, who asked not to be identified, said she met with leaders on Tuesday about her role being merged with another.

She did not think she will get the new role because the other employee going for it had more experience.

"I don't know how likely it is that I will get another job because of all of the competition. I'm due to graduate from a postgrad degree in June and the plan was for me to further my career in the public sector but now I'm probably going to look elsewhere, potentially overseas."

She said all week the mood at work had been low.

"The vibes are very off, very sad. The energy there has been so weird for weeks and especially earlier this week, I've never seen it like that."

Also on Thursday, the Ministry of Social Development called for voluntary redundancies, Crown Law said it will disestablish 17 roles, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment confirmed it has proposed to terminate some jobs.

On Friday, the Treasury told RNZ it was aiming to axe 50 jobs by disestablishing roles, ending fixed term contracts and closing vacancies.

Have you lost your job from the cost-cutting measures? Contact: jemima.huston@rnz.co.nz

Public servants have shared their stories with RNZ and many are feeling angry and anxious about the future.

One worker said they felt like there was no consistency in the proposals offered to each government department.

"I don't understand how some Crown agencies are being offered voluntary redundancy and others are not? Where is the consistency? It has not been offered at the Ministry of Education and I know personally of a large number of staff over 65 that would take it."

RNZ understands further job cut proposals will be put to staff at the Department of Conservation on 10 April and the Department of Internal Affairs on 12 April.

Oranga Tamariki workers will get their announcement the following week.

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