Confirmed job losses at South Island mental health organisation

The Gateway Housing Trust building in Bishopdale, Nelson.

The Gateway Housing Trust building in Bishopdale, Nelson.

Seven jobs will be cut at Nelson mental health organisation, Gateway Housing Trust. 

A proposed restructure was announced to affected staff members two and a half weeks before Christmas and union representatives have confirmed staff had now been told their jobs would be disestablished.

The trust provides services for people with mental illness across the upper South Island, including young people, and also provides residential and community support services.

"We are extremely concerned about the job cuts," E Tu Union spokesperson Alistair Duncan said.

* Jobs in limbo before Christmas

"We see this as an exercise in penny-pinching at the expense of quality care, and we're very dissatisfied at the information we've received so far from Gateway."

Duncan said he would be meeting affected staff on Tuesday to discuss timeframes and provide them with support.

"We think the whole exercise has been rushed, ill thought-out, and potentially is going to impact negatively on the people Gateway is there to support. If you don't have managers who are feeling supported and confident in their roles, then other staff are going to feel they too are vulnerable."

Seven jobs, along with a role that is currently vacant, will be disestablished and staff will be asked if they want to reapply for newly created roles.

When the restructure was proposed, Gateway Housing Trust chief executive Tracey Tuhi said it was about streamlining the organisation.

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"At the moment our frontline staff have four layers of management above them," Tuhi said.

"All of the positions we are looking at disestablishing are middle management, so the proposal is designed to provide greater clarity, consistency and accountability within our organisation."

Tuhi said they began consulting with staff over organisational changes in July, and again in September, and a number of staff meetings were held, but the union said no information about the specifics of the restructure had been provided until early December.

Duncan said the union's submissions had also been largely ignored.

"We're very disappointed at two things; one the timing simply stinks and secondly, the calibre of the information provided which we're now contesting, suggests that the very detailed staff responses have been largely dismissed or treated in a very off-hand manner" he said.






 - Stuff


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