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Taxpayer Pays Civil Servants To Join PSA

Sunday 3 Mar 2002

The Labour Government is dolling out cash and perks to public servants for joining a Labour-friendly union, ACT Finance Spokesman MP Rodney Hide revealed today.

"Clarkistan politics has invaded the public service with a vengeance.

"Clark's government is handing out perks to public servants, but only if they join the Public Service Association (PSA), the state sector union that beats the drum for the Labour Party.

"PSA membership has dropped to less than 40 percent in some Government departments. The PSA has got Labour ministers to bankroll a membership drive with taxpayer money. If public servants cough up a membership fee for the Labour-friendly union, then they get perks and pay rises.

"Many senior public servants are astonished at what is happening. They consider it corrupt.

"The State Services Commission has had to admit in answer to a written Parliamentary Question that they agreed to the Department of Courts giving staff who sign up to the PSA an extra two days' leave (PQ 745). You don't get the extra leave if you don't join.

"That is disgusting. Staff should get a fair holiday entitlement for the work they do - not because they join a union that supports the Government

"The same thing happened at the Ministry of Agriculture. Jim Sutton has had to admit that employees who join the PSA get an extra 0.5 percent pay (PQ 748). Why should staff get paid more for joining a Labour friendly union?

"The same at Internal Affairs. George Hawkins has confirmed that PSA members recently received a one-off, taxpayer-funded payment of between $300 and $600 - a gift solely for PSA members (PQ 746). Those who weren't members didn't get it.

"This is corruption. Civil servants are being paid by the taxpayer to join the union. A perk for some is a punishment for others. Civil servants with ethics are being punished for not joining the PSA.

"State Services Minister Trevor Mallard must explain how widespread the practice is. I also want to know if Helen Clark is prepared to condone the perks and payouts. After all, she still rides on the platform of condemning golden handshakes and sleazy deals - well, how sleazy are these?" concluded Rodney Hide.


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