Justice staff striking at 10am today

Published: Tue 27 Oct 2009 10:13 AM
For immediate Use
Tuesday October 27
Justice staff going on strike
More than 1700 Ministry of Justice staff collecting fines and working at courts and tribunals from Kaitatia to Invercargill are walking off the job at 10am today (Tuesday October 27) and going on strike.
The one-hour strike, involving Justice Ministry staff who belong to the Public Service Association, is an escalation of industrial action that began on Wednesday October 14 with a ‘work to rule.’
Last week the ‘work to rule’ involved staff taking their breaks together. This caused the closure of four district courts for up to an hour while the staff taking action took their lunch breaks.
“Justice workers are now walking off the job and striking because the Ministry continues to refuse to negotiate their pay,” says PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff.
“This is despite Justice paying its staff 6.3% below the median pay rate for the public service.”
Some of the Justice staff are paid as much as 13% below the public service median.1200 Justice staff are paid 9.25% below the median.
“The PSA has not put a figure on how much it’s seeking in a pay rise for the 1700 Justice staff it represents,” says Richard Wagstaff.
“We’ve simply identified how much Justice is underpaying its staff and have been trying to negotiate with the Ministry on how we close that pay gap.”
“We began the negotiations four months ago when the two collective employment agreements for our Justice members expired.”
“The problem we have is that the Justice Ministry is refusing to engage in a meaningful pay negotiation.”
“It continues to rely on an unfair and unjust pay system that’s caused the underpayment the PSA and its members working at the Justice Ministry are trying to address.”
“Justice staff taking action are determined to achieve a fair and sustainable outcome to this dispute.”
“They’ve voted to continue a campaign of rolling strikes this week and next week if the Ministry continues to refuse to engage in meaningful pay negotiations,” says Richard Wagstaff

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