PSA Seeks Legal Advice as Ministry Hires Contractors Despite Laying Off Staff

Laying Off
Image used for information purpose only. Picture Credit:

The Public Service Association (PSA) is urging the Ministry of Education to utilize its existing specialist staff instead of hiring expensive contractors. The union is seeking legal advice regarding the Ministry’s failure to redeploy laid-off staff into available positions.

Kerry Davies, National Secretary for the PSA, expressed concerns over the Ministry’s decision to hire contractors in the midst of an “unprecedented series of job cuts.” Davies stated, “It is just wrong that in the middle of an unprecedented series of jobs cuts the Ministry is hiring contractors instead of using the skills of those already on the Ministry payroll.”

According to a report by RNZ, the Ministry plans to hire contractors to teach teachers the government-mandated “structured literacy” approach for teaching children to read.

The PSA argues that the Ministry has an obligation under the collective agreement to make efforts to redeploy staff being laid off into these positions rather than hiring expensive contractors. Davies questioned the Ministry’s decision, stating, “For a government obsessed with cutting spending, it’s appalling that it thinks hiring contractors makes sense when people who can do that work are losing their jobs.”

The Ministry’s proposed job cuts involve laying off 755 staff, including those from the Curriculum Centre who could potentially undertake the teaching work.

Davies criticized the Ministry’s actions, saying, “How can the Minister of Education allow this to happen when the Government made so much noise about clamping down on contractors?”

The PSA warns that hiring contractors instead of utilizing existing staff is a short-sighted decision that will ultimately cost taxpayers more in the long run. Davies stated, “We are just going back to the problems of the past when the taxpayer forked out millions on contractors while turning a blind eye to the damage this does to building the skills and expertise the Ministry needs for the long term.”

The union draws parallels with the previous National coalition government’s approach, expressing concern about repeating past mistakes. Davies emphasized, “We saw that under the last National coalition government, and history is repeating itself. We should be learning the lessons of the past.”

The PSA is determined to seek legal advice and challenge the Ministry’s decision, which they believe is short-sighted and detrimental to the development of long-term expertise within the Ministry.

For More Details:

Top stories