About a third of Massey University’s Wellington nursing school staff are looking to take up a voluntary redundancy offer made by the university.

The New Zealand Herald reported yesterday that the university sent a voluntary redundancy offer to all 1000 staff in its College of Sciences and Health on October 31, aiming to cut costs by $11.1 million in 2018 and $15.7 million from 2019.

University spokesman James Gardiner said of the 70 staff that have applied to take up the offer 20 were from health and five of those from Massey’s School of Nursing.

Particularly hard hit is the nursing school’s Wellington campus which, Gardiner confirmed to Nursing Review, had started the year with 11 staff and – four of those staff had resigned and four more had applied to take voluntary redundancy. But he added that three of those would not be leaving until the end of semester one next year.

One other nursing school staff member from the Manawatu campus had applied for redundancy and none from the Albany campus.

NZ Nurses Organisation chief executive Memo Musa told the New Zealand Herald  that the cuts would be “very short-sighted” if they affected nursing graduate numbers.

“We will be alarmed if this impacts on New Zealand’s ability to continue to have a nursing workforce with the right education, skill and experience,” he said.

Gardiner told the Herald that the reduced staff would not affect the viability of the school or the quality of the programme offering to students. He said Massey would be recruiting more staff to meet the need of the school.  “The aim is to maintain the quality of the programme for students and boost the overall research capability of the staff.”

He said the cuts were required to achieve a surplus of 3 per cent of the university’s income to fund future investment.

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