A quarter of the staff at Education Perfect, a Dunedin Tech company, faced loss of jobs. The news comes a day after the company’s Chief executive Alex Burke promised that everything would be fine and that it was business as usual for the company, following a buyout worth hundreds of millions.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), a global investment firm, acquired a major stake in the Dunedin tech company. The deal closed at 455 million dollars.
An Education Perfect employee confessed that they felt cheated after hearing about the news. The staff also stated that they were aware of a proposal in which a quarter of the team would be made redundant. But they believed Alex Burke when he promised that their jobs were safe and that everything would stay the same.
Education Perfect has been offering educational tools to children all over the world, with New Zealand secondary schools using 85% of its services. It has a large market in Australia as well.
The employee strength at the company’s Dunedin Office is close to 150. Only the content team was a part of the restructuring process and the rest of them were not. A member of the Content Team made a revelation that all members of the team will have to apply for their jobs again, according to the proposal.
The idea is to outsource lesson content skills from across the world on a gig economy basis rather than creating it in-house. The restructuring process would begin for the remaining staff who will have to take on proofreading roles.
"Nothing will change" was the response of Burke after the KKR deal was closed.
"It will still be a Dunedin and Otago home. We see that Kiwi heritage as really important to us. I will be staying in with my leadership team, so it will be business as usual," Burke was quoted last month.
After several days, Burke and the Head of Operations Emma McAllister organised several meetings with the Content Team members to apprise them about the redundancy clause. The staff affected by the clause has time till Friday to respond to the redundancy proposal. There will also be an announcement on Wednesday next week.
The staff reiterated the situation as "a kick in the guts for the team". After the reassurance they received that everything would be the same, they felt that Burke blatantly lied to them.
"It is a massive blow to people's careers. It makes me feel hurt, I feel livid. The whole thing just makes us feel undervalued and not wanted," shared the Education Perfect staff members.
They also added that the whole turn of events was a cause of worry and anxiety for them over the weekend. In spite of what transpired between the management and the employees of Education Perfect in recent days, they described it as a fun place to work. They added that they do not fathom that they will get another job like the one in Dunedin.
"It is Dunedin, it's small, Dunedin is my home, I have a house ... I can't just move anywhere and what I have done is so niche for so long that my chances of getting another job are pretty slim. Now, the thing is, we are all going to be possibly looking for the same jobs,"added the Dunedin Staff.