MSD cuts: 200 opt for voluntary redundancy, says union

Photo: ODT files
Photo: RNZ
The Ministry of Social Development has accepted voluntary redundancy from 200 workers, the Public Service Association says.

Further cuts are likely, it says.

The government department's call for voluntary redundancies was announced earlier this month.

Workers affected were in the service delivery and Māori communities and partnerships teams, as well as human resources, policy, strategy and communications.

It comes as other government agencies announce proposed job cuts as the sector scrambles to meet the Finance Minister's cost-cutting targets.

PSA national secretary Kerry Davies said today: "As we said then, and as we say firmly now, 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, is 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?"

Davies said the job cuts was the government forcing ministries "to drain the oil out of the engine, and somehow still expect the machinery of government to run smoothly".

"This really is dumb stuff."