10 Mar 2009

Environment Ministry staff 'unlikely' to lose jobs

10:11 pm on 10 March 2009

Staff at the Environment Ministry are unlikely to lose their jobs as a result of restructuring plans, its chief executive says.

The ministry, which employs about 300 people, told workers about proposed restructuring plans at a meeting in Wellington on Tuesday.

Chief executive Paul Reynolds says he aims to save at least $1.8 million and 86 positions will be disestablished. Staff will fill different roles rather than face redundancy.

Dr Reynolds says the changes mainly involve re-delegating roles so general managers are reporting directly to him and leaving daily operational matters to other staff.

However, the Public Service Association says staff are anxious despite Dr Reynold's assurances.

PSA national secretary Brenda Pilott says almost a quarter of the ministry's employees will have to reapply for new roles, and there are no guarantees there will not be future job cuts.

Last week, the union said about six government agencies were about to make decisions on restructuring.

The comment was made on the same day the Tertiary Education Commission announced that it was cutting more than 50 jobs.