Kiwis let down by workplace culture, claims PSA

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Thousands of Kiwis are being let down by disappointing workplace cultures which don’t reward hard-work or recognise achievement – that’s the claim from the Public Service Association after it released the results from its most recent study.

Conducted in association with Victoria University, more than 14,000 employees from the public service, district health boards, and community sector responded to the Workplace Dynamics Survey, making it the largest every study of New Zealand workers.

Three-quarters said meaningful public service is very important and nearly 90 percent said they do their best regardless of difficulties – however, more than half said they felt unfairly paid and many hadn’t been promoted within the past 10 years.

"In many ways the survey’s findings confirm what we already knew: our members are amazing people who are deeply committed to their jobs", said Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretary. "But unfortunately, it also confirms they’re underpaid and undervalued."

The PSA also believes workplace culture needs attention with some front-line staff reporting a high incidence of upsetting behaviour in their jobs – in fact, 43 per cent said they had been verbally abused by a client in the past year with call centre staff, inspectors and regulators, and social workers at particular risk.

"We believe these findings may be echoed in many other Kiwi workplaces,” said Polaczuk. “We need to start talking about New Zealand’s workplace culture, and the public sector should lead by example.”

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