Not much festive cheer for MPs' staff

20:01, Dec 20 2011

The festive season is somewhat subdued at Parliament this year after advisers, managers, press secretaries, librarians and executive assistants lost their jobs.

Most of the staff employed within the parliamentary precinct are employed by the Parliamentary Service, which this year was reorganised in a bid to cut costs.

As with elsewhere in the public sector, back office functions are being amalgamated.

General manager Geoff Thorn said this had resulted in the senior management team being reduced from six to four.

The Parliamentary Library had also been reviewed and its services reduced.

Much of the reduction had been achieved through natural attrition but two librarians were made redundant, he said.

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The number of security guards had also been cut through natural attrition, though figures were not available.

Executive assistants to MPs are employed on fixed-term "events-based" contracts around each election.

That means their contracts terminate when the MPs they work for are no longer members.

There is always churn after each election. The executive assistants are given a month's notice and paid out three months' pay in redundancy.

Mr Thorn said it was not yet clear how many would remain at Parliament.

The Greens and NZ First are currently interviewing executive assistants.

The Dominion Post