Counties Manukau District Health Board's redundancy offer to senior hospital staff could prove to be disastrous, a scientists and technicians union says.
The offer would be available to Middlemore Hospital staff on individual contracts and to those at the top of their pay scale, including all clinicians.
The DHB, which has a $12.9 million deficit for the 2016-17 year, said it wanted to free up resources for front-line services.
The national secretary for the Apex union, Deborah Powell, said it was an ill-conceived idea to get rid of experienced staff, who provide important protection for junior staff in keeping patients safe.
She said there was no indication senior staff would be replaced if they took redundancy.
A statement this week from the DHB's chief executive said the move "provides flexibility for Counties Manukau to redeploy resources to the front-line, without restructuring processes."