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Radio New Zealand off the air again

8 August 2005

Radio New Zealand off the air again

Radio New Zealand staff have reluctantly taken strike action again this afternoon in protest at the continuing refusal of their employer to make a reasonable pay offer.

The action, by members of the Public Service Association and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, runs from 4 to 6pm and will force Radio New Zealand’s Checkpoint drive time news programme off the air. It is expected that Radio New Zealand will broadcast the BBC live during the strike, despite messages from the UK National Union of Journalists condemning the use of their members material during industrial action.

PSA Organiser Brenden Sheehan says the workers case for a fair pay offer has received a boost today with the release of new salary and wage movement figures from Statistics New Zealand.

“Staff at RNZ want a fair pay offer. Statistics New Zealand figures out today show that the current offer from their employer barely keeps up with wage movements across the economy and does nothing to address the pay gap between it and commercial broadcasters.

“RNZ has offered staff a 3 per cent one year deal. Public sector wages and salaries moved on average 2.9 per cent for the year ending 30 June according to Statistics New Zealand’s Labour Cost Index.

“RNZ salaries fell considerably behind those paid to other public and private broadcasting workers during the 1990s. There have some improvements in recent years but there is still a salary gap. Broadcasting is a competitive industry and good staff will leave RNZ if they are not paid fair wages.

“Our members are seeking a 5 per cent increase and a one week increase to annual leave entitlement in line with recent settlements in the public sector.

“Our members are dedicated public service broadcasters who are taking further industrial action because they can see no other way to demonstrate to their employer that the current pay offer must be improved,” Brenden Sheehan said.


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