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RNZ’s Refusal To Consult Over Staffing Cuts

August 7, 2002

PSA Seeks Legal Remedy To RNZ’s Refusal To Consult Over Staffing Cuts

The PSA has today lodged a Compliance Order with the Employment Relations Authority
in a bid to require Radio New Zealand to comply with the consultative provisions of the Collective Agreement in place between the two organisations, PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said today.

“Radio New Zealand has confirmed that two staffing positions are to be cut in the newsroom, one in Wellington and the other in Auckland. In addition, an amount of $50,000 is to be removed from the casual budget, effectively amounting to a third staff cut. The PSA is concerned that Radio New Zealand failed to consult with us over the staffing cuts, despite being required to under the provisions of our Collective Agreement and the Employment Relations Act. Our members at Radio New Zealand have conveyed their distress at the extra workloads which will result from the loss of these positions.”

Richard Wagstaff said the PSA heard about the staff cuts through informal channels rather than through consultation between Radio New Zealand management and PSA representatives.

“Clause 46 of the Collective Agreement requires consultation where there is planned changes to staffing levels. This did not happen. The Compliance Order we have lodged is a legal remedy under the Employment Relations Act which requires the employer to comply with the consultation provisions of the Collective Agreement.”

Richard Wagstaff said if the PSA was successful in its application, the Employment Relations Authority will issue an order instructing Radio New Zealand to start again and consult with the PSA over the cuts.

“We are also, as part of the consultation process, seeking budget details from Radio New Zealand to ascertain the reasoning behind the cuts.”

Richard Wagstaff said the PSA and many public sector organisations have developed inclusive and positive partnership relationships and it was always disappointing when the union was not consulted on serious decisions such as cutting staff.


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