Employment Survey Shows Stable and Strong Public Service
Media release from Hon Trevor Mallard, Minister for State Services, 11 November 2002. The Minster for State Services, Trevor Mallard, today released the results of the State Services Commission's latest survey on employment in the Public Service...
The Minster for State Services, Trevor Mallard, today released the results of the State Services Commission's latest survey on employment in the Public Service. The Human Resource Capability Survey collects and analyses anonymous data on all staff in Public Service departments.
Trevor Mallard said the 2002 results show the Government is delivering on its commitment to rebuild a strong State sector tasked with delivering a high standard of service to the New Zealand public.
"The survey results show the number of permanent staff in the Public Service has continued to increase. In the year to 30 June 2002, the growth in permanent staff was just over 1,400 employees, or 5 percent. This figure reduced to around 1,000 employees, or 4 percent, once structural government changes (such agencies re-entering the Public Service) were taken into account. The growth was spread across the Public Service, with 31 departments reporting an increase in the number of permanent staff.
"This is consistent with job growth in the overall labour force as a whole, as measured by Statistics NZ's Quarterly Employment Survey. The Public Service made up 2.1 percent of all jobs in both 2001 and 2002.
Trevor Mallard said the Public Service continues to remain a stable working environment with turnover rates remaining fairly constant for the past five years (11 percent in 2002) and the number of staff on collective employment agreements not changing much over the past year.
"In addition, the number of employees who received redundancy payments during 2001/2002 was at the lowest level since data was first collected on this in 1991.
"A significant finding of the survey was more women moving into senior management, with women making up 53 percent of new senior managers. This is an encouraging sign. But the low turnover rate of senior managers means that the Commission estimates that it will take until 2028 before women make up 50 percent of all senior managers.
"The survey also shows a continuing decline in the number of Public Service staff with a disability, however it is believed that this is due to a reworking of the definition applying to this category. The low level of representation is of concern. In response the State Services Commission is developing an EEO Disability resource containing practical help for managers, which will encourage greater recruitment of people with disabilities and improve career progression opportunities for current employees.
Trevor Mallard said that, for the first time, the 2002 survey enables salary levels in the Public Service to be directly compared with other sectors of the economy, by the introduction of job size points to the survey.
"The survey results show a gap between Public Service pay levels and those in the wider labour market. While lower level Public Service jobs were paid at a similar level to those in the private sector, the pay gap widened as job size increased to senior management levels.
"The Government is aware of this gap, which the data shows developed during the 1990s. The Government is committed to addressing this issue, as part of its commitment to rebuilding a quality Public Service. However, we cannot provide a 'quick fix' to issues that developed over many years. The issue of pay level affects some sectors of the Public Service more than others, and, in fairness to the taxpayer, the Government needs to carefully assess which areas are the priority for attention. For example, in the last Budget, the Government provided significant funding to fund wage increases for Courts and NZ Customs staff ".
"A high performing Public Service is important to New Zealand's success as a society. I am pleased that this survey shows New Zealand is well served by a stable and strong Public Service - that is able to rely on its own expertise and less on outside consultants," Trevor Mallard said.