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Ministry of Social Development proposes more job cuts

The Ministry of Social Development’s workforce will be reduced by more than 700 people, after a round of proposed cuts was announced today.

This means there are now around 5,000 public sector jobs that have already disappeared or are proposed to be eliminated.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) had already accepted 218 voluntary redundancy applications in April across service delivery teams, Māori communities and partnerships, as well as human resources, policy, strategy and communications.

But today he confirmed that he proposes cutting 97 positions, of which 27 are vacant.

Another 56 employees on fixed-term contracts would finish their jobs at the end of June, he said. And since December, another 341 positions had suffered attrition, vacancies filled and fixed-term agreements expiring.

“In total, if the change proposals are carried out as proposed, MSD’s headcount will be reduced by 712 positions,” said MSD deputy executive director of people and capacity Nadine Kilmister.

At the end of December, the ministry employed 9,482 full-time people, meaning around 7.5% of the workforce was ready to leave.

Public Service Association national secretary Duane Leo said the quality of service provided to New Zealanders under the MSD would be affected by these cuts.

Jobs have also been allocated from the ministry’s strategy and knowledge team, which investigates and evaluates how MSD is performing and how effectively it supports people to achieve the Government’s goals.

“The Government has promised evidence-based decision-making, so what’s the point of cutting this team? The aim of the team is to ensure MSD is doing a good job supporting people. We have seen similar cuts elsewhere, such as Oranga Tamariki and Waka Kotahi, proving “How poorly thought out these cuts are.”

The union was also concerned about the jobs that would be eliminated thanks to the Te Pae Tawhiti digital transformation project.

“This concerns us as the program aims to simplify processes, help people connect more efficiently online with MSD, ensure they get the benefits they are entitled to, and help job seekers find better jobs. opportunities,” Leo said.

Previously, the ministry also confirmed that it would no longer fund 44 of the current 132 budget services, due to a change in the funding model and the end of the cash boost granted during the pandemic.

DOC Job Losses Ended

The Department of Conservation has confirmed it is cutting 124 jobs, slightly fewer than it originally proposed.

In April it emerged by reducing its staff by 130, but it was reduced by six after consulting with staff.

That figure would be reached on July 1 by eliminating 257 permanent positions (of which 114 were already vacant) and creating 133 new ones, said CEO Penny Nelson.

The department was ordered to save 6.5% of its budget to meet the Government’s savings target. It also needed to fund “cost pressures” of around $7 million for the next financial year, he said.

“Over the last few months, we have identified areas where we could make savings, which included looking at the number of positions we have, our operating expenses, and programs where funding is ring-fenced and funding has not yet been drawn down.” she said.

“We have tried to minimize the impact on DOC staff and the conservation outcomes we seek.”

The changes meant the DOC would have to carefully prioritize its work, so it would focus its efforts on “the work that makes the biggest difference for nature,” he said.

Decisions on programs and operating expenses will be communicated as part of Budget 2024.

So far, almost 5,000 public sector jobs have already disappeared or are planned to disappear as part of the Government’s cost-cutting measures.

rnz.co.nz

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