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Voluntary redundancies at MSD will make it harder for clients and communities – PSA

The opening of wide scale voluntary redundancies at MSD to meet the Government’s cost cutting drive means thousands of New Zealanders are likely to have the service they receive from MSD compromised.

Today the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) called for voluntary redundancies across parts of its Service Delivery teams at national and regional offices, its Māori Communities and Partnerships team, and its People and Capability, policy, strategy, communications functions as well as its transformation project.

The voluntary redundancies along with vacancies not being filled could see hundreds of workers leave MSD, and potential forced redundancies in the future.

“At a time of rising need for many, it’s disgraceful that the Government is pulling the rug from under the very people delivering vital support for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders,” said Duane Leo, National Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

“The Government is taking hundreds of people out of MSD, the very people who make the system work effectively for the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who need the care that MSD workers provide.”

Case managers like Dave (not his real name) who works out of a North Island centre is one of many members worried following today’s announcement.

“We’re all feeling really anxious. We’re under more pressure than ever before with our workloads rising as finding jobs becomes more difficult. At the same time, the Government is putting more obligations on job seekers who now need to see us more often, and yet we will be getting less support ourselves.

“It all doesn’t add up and certainly isn’t fair on those who need our help to live better lives.”

The MSD cuts are yet another example of a government out of touch with the needs of New Zealanders, said Duane Leo.

“Every day we are seeing the fiction of ‘no cuts to the frontline.’ Make no mistake, those supporting New Zealanders and communities will be under more pressure than ever before. How can that be good for the care and support they provide?

“But the Government would rather tie their hands behind their backs and fund tax cuts for landlords. Landlords don’t need a handout – but the thousands of New Zealanders supported by case managers need to be helped out. And that means properly resourcing this critical agency across all areas.

“It’s just par for the course for a government determined to undermine the public services New Zealanders rely on to meet their needs today and meet the challenges we all face tomorrow,” said Duane Leo.

 

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