The collection and analysis of statistics to support the needs of businesses, government, Māori and various organisations could be threatened if Statistics NZ proceeds with a significant restructure warns the Public Service Association.
Statistics NZ today unveiled plans to save $2.4m and make 39 workers redundant before Christmas. Impacted staff have just seven working days to provide feedback on the plans.
"We stand opposed to these cuts and the unrealistc short consultation period. The cuts will impact vital services and create anxiety for scores of workers and their whānau within weeks of Christmas," said Kerry Davies, National Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.
"We fear the changes will rob Statistics NZ of experienced subject matter experts and data analysts and there will be fewer managers leading teams and managing workloads.
"Statistics claims this is all about removing duplication. We say it should consider shifting resource to where the pressure points are in the organisation rather than risk losing experienced people.
"The consultation is already impacting our members who are anxious about the proposed changes and losing their jobs before Christmas. Some are now considering leaving for better paid private sector jobs, robbing Statistics of long serving, experienced staff. This is bad for morale, and bad for productivity.
"All New Zealanders depend in some way on the decisions made by government, businesses and other organisations based on quality and trusted data. It’s important to help inform a multitude of government decisions that are all about improving the health and wellbeing of communities across Aotearoa.
"We don’t believe Statistics NZ’s proposal aligns with its purpose as stated in its latest Annual Report; ‘The importance of high quality, trusted statistics and data cannot be overstated. Together, they form the foundations of an open and well-functioning democracy, supporting good government and public confidence.’
"Statistics NZ undertakes a vital role for our economy and many communities. Our message to the incoming Government is if you want to deliver on your promise of driving a more productive economy then reverse these damaging cuts.
"The PSA will be making a strong case to stop these decisions as it supports those who may lose their jobs and those who are facing an unrealistic increase in their workloads," said Kerry Davies.