Thursday, 2 August 2012

Is this the performance we want?

A new reward system being introduced…

This letter was sent off to our local paper

Dear Sir
With regard to the threatened cuts to the Ministry of Social Development and staff performance criteria tied to getting long term “beneficiaries” off their income support, the effect will be even worse than the similar targets applied to ACC officers, which raised such a storm not long ago.
With ACC pushing people onto the dole and Work & Income pushing people off the dole,  while the government is shedding significant numbers of its jobs, with living wage jobs going into the mincer and even $2 dollar shops closing, where are the “liberated” beneficiaries meant to go?
They already go to foodbanks.
Are they meant to suicide and take their families with them?
This seems to be a recipe for disaster of scary proportions including increased family violence and crime in addition to the suicides.
Of course I am assuming that the largest long term ’beneficiary’ group, superannuitants, will be left alone, but that may not be the case and the same results would apply.
Ian Ritchie

Lets look a little closer at this issue.
Based on the working conditions now being introduced into our various government departments it would appear that if you want promotion or extra income you must ensure that someone else loses income or assistance.
This introduction of performance style rewards is a direct steal from banks and financial institutions and salesman style salary methods. ‘You make dollars for us and will give you a share’,,, This 1990’s style of bribery used by greedy corporates is now being introduced and used by the government to blackmail staff to get rid of difficult cases off the books.
Just think about it for one minute. If you worked for say, the Ministry of Social Development as a case manager and one of those you were managing committed suicide you could actually get a reward… The government has a name for this… ideal performance… in fact if enough of your clients committed suicide the minister could invite you to parliament and issue you with a high performance certificate signed by our part time Prime minister. Whereas in education suicide could have the opposite effect because teachers are meant to achieve an 80% pass rate, a suicide would make it difficult to achieve the required pass rate.
Of course, you may [As I hope we all are] be opposed to encouraging suicide and may actually prefer to help your clients, which may mean that you would have to forgo your rewards both monetary and status wise. You may feel this way because all your education and training has given you an understanding of ethics, responsibility and caring. But alas they are not the ethics’ that the present Key / Banks government espouses now days. ACC proves this; Housing New Zealand also demonstrates this fact and John Banks proves it on an individual basis.
Of course, we here in New Zealand are lucky, 50.000 of our younger people are fleeing the country each year and if these people are beneficiaries and you can increase the numbers going overseas you may increase your salary without needing to resort to suggesting suicide.
Now I know, at least I think I know, that most people wouldn’t drive their clients to suicide, but history tells a different story. In Germany from 1936 they did just that, they started removing those with mental health problems and disabilities into camps where they suddenly disappeared from sight. Later we found out they were murdered. Their government not only supported this weeding out of those who were a drain on the nation but encouraged it, they rewarded those who performed these shocking acts for them with both promotion and money.
Now I’m not suggesting that is what is being planned but we should never forget that it has happened. The economic conditions today are not dissimilar to those existing back in the mid-thirties. The fact is that driving people to suicide is murder, and ignorance is not a defence in my view.        


peterg said...

Right on with those comments!

Reference our unemployment statistics
Are they telling the true story? Have the numbers that have escaped to Australia been factored in as being unemployed in New Zealand? I think not. That means unemployment in NZ is much more serious than is revealed by our own shonky statistics.


Janine said...

It looks to me as though this government is trying to take us back to the golden age of 19th century Britain - they should be force-fed Dickens.