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First Local Government ‘Meca’ Settled

7 November, 2001

Media Release

First Local Government ‘Meca’ Settled

The New Zealand Public Service Association (PSA) has settled its first multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) under the Employment Relations Act 2000 in Southland according to organiser Mark Ryan.

PSA members employed at the four Southland council’s ratified an offer for a single collective agreement on Friday the 26th of October. The settlement means that there is a single collective agreement that covers the Gore District Council, the Invercargill City Council, the Southland District Council and the Southland Regional Council, and is a first for the local government sector in the country.

“Settlement has come one year and one fortnight since the union initiated bargaining on the 10th of October 2000. Preparation for the negotiations began as early as May of 2000 when the PSA Southland Local Government Regional Committee recommended to members that with the impending repeal of the Employment Contracts Act 1991, rather than renegotiate the four existing collective employment contracts, they should wait for the new legislation to come into force and bargain for a single collective agreement that would cover all PSA members in local government in the Province. No one imagined that it would take as long as it did. Nonetheless we are pleased that a settlement has been reached.”

Members will receive a 2% pay increase back dated to the 1st of July 2000, another 2% pay increase back dated to the 1st of July 2001 and a further 3.2% pay increase from the 1st of July 2002. The last pay increase that members received was in 1999 and the back dated increases recognise this, and that their old collective employment contracts expired on the 1st of July 2000. Another key element of the settlement was a single restructuring and redundancy provision which will provide more certainty if core council services are amalgamated. The agreement runs until the 30th of June 2003. It is expected that the actual agreement will be signed in late November or early December.


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