23 Apr 2024

Ministry of Social Development accepts 200 voluntary redundancies - PSA

4:07 pm on 23 April 2024
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Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The Ministry of Social Development has accepted voluntary redundancy from 200 workers.

The ministry (MSD) had called for redundancies earlier this month in the service delivery, Māori communities and partnerships teams, as well as those in human resources, policy, strategy and communications.

In a statement, MSD said in an ongoing effort to cut costs it has given the opportunity to staff to apply for redundancy.

A total of 404 applications were made and 200 accepted.

If you have been affected by job cuts or have documents about then contact hamish.cardwell@rnz.co.nz

PSA national secretary Kerry Davies said reducing MSD's workforce at a time of rising need as job losses are increasing and people are struggling with the cost of living and as our ageing population grows was "simply a reckless move".

"Further downsizing of this important ministry does not make sense. These are the very people who make the system work effectively for the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who need the support that MSD provides.

"MSD is also targeting the transformation group for change, the team tasked with simplifying processes for New Zealanders accessing services they need to get by. Isn't that the efficiency the government wants?

"What the government is forcing MSD and many other ministries to do, is to drain the oil out of the engine, and somehow still expect the machinery of government to run smoothly. This really is dumb stuff.

The PSA said further cuts were likely, and to be announced the week of 20 May.

MSD said it was looking to make changes in the people and capability, organisational assurance and communication, transformation, and strategy and insights teams.

It said the exact details of the proposed changes are being worked through, with staff to learn more in late May.

Deputy chief executive Nadine Kilmister said "even though it is a voluntary process, it's not an easy one for the staff involved, some of whom have worked for MSD for many years".

"This is an unsettling time for our people, and we thank them for their dedication as we work through it."

MSD is the second largest public service employer, with about 9000 full-time equivalent employees.

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