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Legal Aid Staff To Stop Paying Lawyers

3 May 2005

Legal Aid Staff To Stop Paying Lawyers

‘National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) members who work for the government body that grants legal aid will stop processing or approving invoices for legal aid, which will mean lawyers will not get paid, in the very near future,’ said NUPE Organiser John Kerr.

‘The Legal Services Agency (LSA) are making no an offer on pay. We have been in talks for 10 months and the Agency have told us they are “philosophically opposed” to a flat rate percentage increase for members. All we are asking for is a pay increase that reflects cost of living increases and other pressures on members’ incomes. The LSA’s position leaves us no room for manoeuvre. Obviously we do not want to say precisely when the action will begin but it is going to happen and it’s going to happen very soon’, said John Kerr.

‘What we’re asking for is very reasonable. The employer has threatened to suspend staff who take this action. We would see this as being tantamount to a lock out and if the employer takes that step, our members will walk off the job’ said John Kerr

‘NUPE represents legal aid staff in Wellington, Christchurch, Invercargill and Whangarei. Moreover, we represent all of the staff who process legal aid applications for the Waitangi Tribunal,’ said John Kerr.

‘Our members are dedicated public servants. They are disappointed that a public body will not make an offer on pay when the there is such a huge surplus in the government’s coffers’, said John Kerr

ENDS

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