Plunket to cull 53 jobs
The Plunket Society plans to make more than 50 jobs redundant in central regional centres.
Plunket spokeswoman Jen Rich said while the proposal was for 53 jobs to be made redundant, 37 jobs would be created.
‘‘The consultation is only a proposal at this stage – a proposal is by no means a decision and there is still some way to go before decisions are made.’’
Staff affected by the redundancies would be reassigned to new jobs whereever possible, Rich said.
No Plunket centres would close and families could continue to use Plunket’s services as usual.
A Plunket worker, who did not want to be named, said staff were told about the announcement this week via a Skype meeting.
"We've worked so hard for our communities for all these years and it just makes us feel horrible."
She said the 53 staff had been asked to reapply for one job that would replace them in Hamilton.
‘‘They are cutting these roles to the most rural and vulnerable communities to have more people working out of centralised hubs which have never even been to these communities, don’t know the wha¯nau and cannot relate to the struggles within every day life,’’ the worker said.
While many administrative roles were expected to be made redundant, the loss of some community roles came as a shock to staff members, she said.
‘‘Admin staff knew this would come, as everything is changing over to a computerised system, so all paper handling is finished, but the community workers had no idea.
‘‘It’s absolutely rubbish. We’ve worked so hard for our communities for all these years and it just makes us feel horrible.’’
Many of Plunket’s services are run and organised by a large volunteer base and, the worker said, Plunket was looking to replace the lost jobs with more volunteers.
Most of the jobs affected are permanent roles.
A briefing document shared with staff says the proposed redundancies are part of Plunket changing its legal restructure to a charitable trust from an incorporated society on January 1.
The redundancies will also reduce costs, the document says.
In a note to staff, Plunket’s regional operations manager for the central region, Stephen Lavery, said: ‘‘We know that the changes we are making to our organisation can be unsettling for many people.
‘‘One of the overarching goals of Plunket’s transformation programme is to organise the delivery of our services in a way that maximises the impact of each dollar Plunket spends.
‘‘This will ensure Plunket is directing its resources on where it can make the biggest difference and provide a more consistent level of service to families and wha¯nau across Aotearoa New Zealand.’’
Consultation with staff runs until February 13 and the new structure is expected to take effect on April 12.