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Government Kickbacks Break Their Own Law

Government Kickbacks Break Their Own Law

ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks said today that IRD and other government department payments to employees simply because they are members of the PSA is in breach of section 9 of the Employment Relations Act.

"In section 9 Prohibition on preference - subsection (1) says:

A contract, agreement, or other arrangement between persons must not confer on a person, because the person is or is not a member of a union or a particular union, - ...

(b) any preference in relation to terms or conditions of employment ...

(2) Subsection (1) is not breached simply because an employee's employment agreement or terms and conditions of employment are different from those of another employee employed by the same employer.

"The causal nexus between the union membership and the payment makes subsection (2) irrelevant.

"Mr Mallard said "the Government had made it clear in May 2000 when it signed up to a Partnership for Quality Programme with the PSA that it recognised the benefits unions brought to the sector. The payments, which feature in a number of collective agreements, recognised the role the unions played in improving the quality and efficiency of services delivered to taxpayers and in staff working conditions."

"Imagine what the Hon Margaret Wilson would say if a private company gave an extra $800 a year reward to non-union employees, because of a view that employees who were not members of a union improved the quality and efficiency of services delivered to shareholders.

"I hope the employees who have suffered this discrimination take it to the Employment Court," Mr Franks said.

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