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PSA Files New Strike Notices

June 13, 2008
For Immediate Use

PSA Files New Strike Notices Covering Department of Labour Staff

The PSA has served the Department of Labour with two weeks notice of 14 more two-hour strikes to run from Friday June 27 to Thursday July 10.

“The department staff, who belong to the PSA, were due to strike for two hours today,” says PSA National Secretary, Richard Wagstaff. “We withdrew today’s notice because we hoped the department would return to the negotiating table.”

“We’re disappointed that the department has refused to resume the negotiations and resolve a key issue of back dating an across-the-board pay increase of 4%,” says Richard Wagstaff. “The department continues to drag out these negotiations so we have issued 14 new strike notices.”

A total of 750 Department of Labour staff went on strike from 10 am to midday yesterday. This included border security officers at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports, health and safety inspectors, immigration officers, labour inspectors and industrial mediators.

The PSA is required to serve 14 days notice of the strikes because the border security at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports provide an essential service.

“We’ve been negotiating since September last year,” says Richard Wagstaff. “It’s been a drawn out and frustrating process and we’ve been forced to take industrial action to show the department the staff are serious about their claims.”

“The fact that all Department of Labour staff, who belong to the PSA, walked off the job for two hours yesterday shows they are determined to reach a fair settlement,” says Richard Wagstaff.

Notices of two-hour strikes are in place for next week from Monday, June 16, through to Thursday, June 19. Today the PSA served two weeks notice of 14 more two-hour strikes from Friday June 27 to Thursday July 10.

“We have lodged the new notices to give us the ability to strike if the department continues to draw these negotiations out,” says Richard Wagstaff.

The PSA does not agree with the department’s claim that border security has not been compromised as the result of the industrial action by its staff.

During yesterday’s two hour strike the department did not carry out the normal ‘risk profiling’ of passengers arriving from overseas at Auckland airport. No international flights arrived at Wellington or Christchurch during the strike.

In addition customs officers, checking passengers arriving from overseas at Auckland airport, were advised not to refer any passengers to border security, during the strike, unless absolutely necessary.

“The information we have from department staff is that border security control has not been maintained to the normal standard due to the industrial action,” says Richard Wagstaff.


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