Executive Summary

Strong Employment Growth. Growth in Public Service employment has been stronger than in any of the preceding three years. The total number of public servants increased by 10% or 3,420 people. After adjusting for changes to the scope of the survey, the total number of permanent employees increased by around 1,900 (6%).

Public Service pay gap reduces. Pay increases in the Public Service over the past year have reduced the gap in salaries between the Public Service and the labour market as a whole.

High uptake of Superannuation scheme - especially among older and more highly paid staff. With the introduction of the State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme (SSRSS) 51% of public servants are now members of an employment-based retirement savings scheme, compared with 14% prior to the introduction of the SSRSS. Older employees and more highly paid employees were the most likely to join the SSRSS.

Turnover rates stable. Turnover rates have remained similar to those in the past few years. Unplanned turnover rates in departments averaged 12% compared with 11 % for the previous year and similar rates for the three years before that. Total turnover rates (including fixed-term staff) have been slowly decreasing.

Mixed picture for EEO groups. There has been an increase in the number of women and Asian people in the Public Service, while the representation of Māori and Pacific peoples has been fairly constant for the past few years (reflecting wider labour market trends). The proportion of senior managers (and managers generally) who are women has increased steadily since 1998, while the representation of Maori, Pacific, and Asian groups in senior management positions has been stable or slightly falling over the past 2-3 years.

Gender pay gap unchanged. The gender pay gap in the Public Service was less than half that in the labour force as a whole, once differences in occupational structure were taken into account. The gender pay gap in the Public Service in 2004 was about the same as that in 2003.

Collective bargaining steady. The proportion of employees covered by current Collective Agreements (CAs) has risen from 48% to 51% due to a fall in the number on expired collectives.

Ongoing skill shortages confirm tight labour market. Many departments continue to report recruitment difficulties and skill shortages. Most reported that they had difficulty matching remuneration levels elsewhere in the labour market, including those of other Public Service employers. These pressures were exacerbated by the tight labour market.

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