Union queries museum job losses

By Angela Gregory

Auckland Museum says its staffing numbers are "relatively unchanged" following a major restructuring, but a union has asked why nearly one quarter of the employees have lost their jobs in the process.

The museum yesterday announced that it had concluded its review and restructure which began in February.

It said in a statement the total number of positions at the museum, counted as full, half or part-time equivalents was essentially unchanged, as was the salaries budget.

Of the staff who would not be continuing to work at the museum 24 had already left of their own volition or by mutual agreement.

Another 22 staff members had been made redundant as a result of the restructure.

The Public Service Association said it was alarmed that the museum had shed 46 staff through the redundancies and voluntary severance as a result of the restructuring.

The PSA had 54 members at the museum, of the 165 staff employed at the start of the restructuring.

Warwick Jones, assistant national secretary of the PSA, said staff were told that the restructuring was not budget driven and that it was all about changing the way the museum was seen.

"We want to know how that [has been served] by shedding the knowledge and skills of 46 staff."

Vanda Vitali, the museum director, said the museum's board of trustees had supported the strategy behind the moves as set out in the annual plan.

The board had set two goals for this year - to increase the value and appeal of the museum for all and to have a leading team where the best people wanted to work.

"We knew there had to be some evolution of staff in order to increase the value and appeal of our museum, and we believe that this combination of retained expertise and new viewpoints begins to satisfy [both] goals."

Dr Vitali said there were no net loss of positions or budget.

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 26 Nov 2014 10:12:46 Processing Time: 1577ms