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DoC Provides Million Dollar Bribe To Join PSA

DoC Provides Million Dollar Bribe To Join PSA

ACT New Zealand Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide today said it was wrong that taxpayers had to pay Department of Conservation staff to join the Public Service Association.

"A leaked `Summary of Settlement' details DoC's proposed collective agreement," Mr Hide said.

"The deal provides a `one-off payment' of $737 only to those employers who, as at June 20 2003, will come under the proposed collective agreement - and further two payments of $200 each in July 2004 and July 2005. If that isn't bad enough, DoC is also agreeing to contribute to the costs of PSA National Delegate team meetings.

"Taxpayers have to cough up for Union membership, and then again for Union Meetings.

"The last date for ratifying DoC's settlement is July 18. The Government should put a halt to taxpayers' money being used to prop up dinosaur unions.

"DoC staff are calling the $737 lump-sum payment a `reimbursement of Union fees'. I am told that the negotiation brief called for `union-only benefits'. It should come as no surprise that non-union staff are incensed, and appalled that taxpayers' money is being used to subsidise Labour-friendly unions. These payments serve to politicise the civil service.

"The lump-sum payments prove that the PSA is so useless that only way it can get members is for the Government to pay them to join. It's a disgrace that hardworking taxpayers are being socked to subsidise PSA membership drives.

"There are about 1,200 union members in DoC. The proposed lump-sum payments total a PSA subsidy of over a million dollars - and that's just DoC. The lump sum payouts in the Ministry of Social Development total $2,478,000, Inland Revenue $1,693,000, Corrections $349,556, Internal Affairs $242,700, and Land & Information $168,436.

"Clark's Government is forcing taxpayers to shell out millions of dollars to drive up PSA membership. It's union-pork politics. It's not what taxpayers pay their taxes for," Mr Hide said.

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