Public sector job cuts: Oranga Tamariki confirms 419 roles will be axed

Oranga Tamariki has confirmed it will axe 419 roles to meet the government’s required spending cuts.

Oranga Tamariki chief executive Chappie Te Kani said the reduction in 419 roles came from 594 roles being disestablished and 175 new roles being established.

Initially, 447 roles were proposed to be disestablished.

National campaigned on slashing “back-office expenditure” across the public sector to pay for tax cuts. More than 6000 jobs have been axed across in total so far, but Minister for Regulation David Seymour has said that number could climb to 7500.

Te Kani said Oranga Tamariki had received a large amount of feedback from staff since its proposal document was released in May, with a total of 4470 submissions made.

He said he had read every single piece of feedback, and as a result had made a number of changes to the proposal document, including reducing the number of roles being disestablished.

“These roles come from across the back-office structure of Oranga Tamariki and include a reduction in leadership team positions,” he said.

But the Public Service Association said the cuts would make the lives of children and young people worse.

“At a time of rising need and increasing pressure on families the last thing the government should be doing is making deep cuts to the very agency that supports children and young people,” assistant secretary Fleur Fitzsimons said.

“Today, we see the cost of those tax cuts and children and young people will pay that price. The government is putting ideology ahead of the care of children.”

She said with the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State Care also about to be delivered to the governor-general, the cuts also set the scene “for child abuse to go unchecked all over again”.

It was also disappointing to see that specialist Māori roles were being removed, as those people had unique skills working with whānau and were critical to the success of Oranga Tamariki, she said.

Te Kani said Oranga Tamariki had been undergoing transformation for the past few years, and this was the next step in that process.

“Oranga Tamariki needs to lift its performance to meet the expectations of New Zealanders and the families and children we serve,” he said.

“I know my final decision will not magically fix the issues we face as an organisation. It will not automatically grow trust and confidence between our ministry and New Zealand. It will not be perfect. But change never is.”

More than 750 feedback submissions were received by the agency on the proposal.

ACC confirms 300 jobs set to go

ACC logo

Meanwhile, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has confirmed it will chop 300 jobs as part of government-ordered cost-saving measures.

The reduction is in areas outside of ACC’s client-facing teams and includes 85 vacant roles.

Sixty six new roles were created to support the delivery of ACC’s services, bringing the total reduction of 366 roles to a net reduction of 300.

The agency is charged with preventing injuries, and supporting those recovering from injury and getting them back to work.

ACC had previously proposed a reduction of 390 roles with a net loss of 325 jobs.

“We took a whole-of-enterprise approach to the proposal, reviewing all non-client facing parts of the organisation to find opportunities to remove duplication, limit expenditure and stop work that isn’t closely connected to improved outcomes for our kiritaki (clients),” ACC chief executive Megan Main said.

They had engaged with staff throughout the process and received more than 750 feedback submissions, Main said.

“The feedback provided great insights and I’m confident the final decisions are better as a result.”

  • How many public sector roles are going, and from where?
  • The new organisational structure is expected to be in place on 12 September.

    The Public Service Association (PSA) union said the job losses meant the agency would not be able to perform its role as well as it could, calling the move a “dangerous cost-cutting exercise”.

    “We have seen in the past that ACC spending cuts mean declining claims, limiting client’s access to entitlements (like home care hours or home modifications) and returning injured people to work before they are ready,” PSA assistant secretary Fleur Fitzsimons said.

    The PSA was concerned about the cuts to the injury prevention teams.

    “This is an absolutely vital area dealing with workplace safety, prevention of sexual violence, and road safety. This work is all about ensuring accidents and injuries don’t happen in the first place,” Fitzsimons said.

    “A government so focused on reducing costs and ‘better outcomes’ should be investing more in these areas, not less.”

    ACC is also separately investing in about 250 additional frontline rehabilitation roles.

    “The decision to create more capacity within this part of the organisation was an existing area of focus for us that coincided with the change process,” Main said.

    Recruitment for those positions was already underway.

    According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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