The merits and value of our public servants

A guest post:

In an article in Whaleoil on 20th June your publication alleged that public servants “took an average of 8.6 and 8.4 days of sick leave in 2016 and 2017, compared to the private sector average of 4.7 days per year.”

The sick leave assertion might well be a fabrication for all I know, this website often demonstrating its bias against working people in general and public servants in particular. True or not, Whaleoil readers should be aware of the very high level of stress involved in bringing about and maintaining the excellent level of service we all enjoy from the fine women and men dedicating their lives to our service.

This stress is very often brought about by government servants’ frequent face-to-face dealings with the general public, many of whom seem to have nothing to do except complain about some minor failing in the service. Or perhaps the complaint is about our catering to segments of the population which are more in need than their own segment happens to be.

Many complainants, it would seem, have no appreciation or understanding of the principles of Te Tiriti O Waitangi. I am told that some seem to discredit the very relevance of our nation’s founding document. This is hard to believe in 2018 but I am assured it is so.

Our fine body of government servants are overworked, in my view. They have to carry out their own onerous duties and, quite often, those of their colleagues as well. The stress of government service quite often results in people falling sick, for days or even weeks on end, but government service to the people of New Zealand must continue without fail. Our government departments work like a family, I am told, and when one or the other falls ill their colleagues unfailingly stand in for them to ensure that public service is meticulously maintained. Very often this extra service goes entirely without recompense, and always without complaint.

In my view the worth of government service and the people who carry it out are underrated. I would suggest that the salaries of people who give their very lives in service to their country should be increased and that perquisites enjoyed in the private sector should be equally enjoyed by public servants. I would suggest that once a government employee has demonstrated his or her loyalty and worth, after two or three years’ service perhaps, they should qualify for what the private sector calls a “package.” This might comprise, for example, a car, dining privileges, extended leave and perhaps overseas travel from time to time. Such a package, which would be eminently affordable in this day and age, would ensure that we continue to attract into government service the very best people coming out of our schools and universities.


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A guest post submitted to Whaleoil and edited by Whaleoil staff.

Guest Post content does not necessarily reflect the views of the site or its editor. Guest Post content is offered for discussion and for alternative points of view.

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