. . . why are they complaining now?
The Public Service Association about restructuring that is because as Trans Tasman points out:
There’s a bit of a reorganisation of Govt agencies under way. Before the election National promised not to undertake any “radical” shake up of the state sector and has been attacked by Labour and the Public Service Association for breaching its promise.
But all the government has suggested is a bit of minor tweaking – combining Archives NZ, Statistics NZ, Land Information NZ, and the National Library into one Ministry.
That doesn’t strike me as radical in isolation and is even less so when compared with what Labour did:
Labour merged the Department of Courts back into the Ministry of Justice. It created the Ministry of Economic Development out of the Ministry of Commerce and a couple of small agencies such as tourism. It built the new mega Ministry of Social Development out of the old Ministry of Social Policy, Work and Income NZ, and some bits of other social services.
Special Education was merged into the Ministry of Education. The whole Department of Building and Housing was built out of the old Ministry of Housing and some parts of the Ministry of Economic Development and Housing. NZ Land Transport Safety Authority was moved into a new beefed up Ministry of Transport. You get the idea.
None of these were fought by the supposedly politically neutral Public Service Association with anything like the fire which National’s fairly modest proposals has attracted.
Supposedly neutral are the operative words which answer the question I started with.
They didn’t complain then because the changes were done by a Labour-led government and they’re complaining now because the proposals for much more minor changes are coming from a National-led one.