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Look After Those Who Look After Our Soldiers

30th September 2004

Look After Those Who Look After Our Soldiers

New Zealand First spokesperson on defence Ron Mark today slammed the 2.5% pay offer to Army civilian support staff as derisory and totally inadequate. His comments come as NUPE staff at the Burnham Military Camp, Christchurch, are staging a stoppage in support of their claim for improved pay and conditions.

“These people are totally dedicated to supporting the service personnel, but they are poorly represented and appallingly treated” said Mr Mark.

“I spoke to one person whose relative, at 55 years of age and with 19 years of loyal service behind her, is still earning a little over the minimum wage of $9.

“That just isn’t right.

“It is no way to treat staff who give you the level of service and dedication that these people do, and that the Defence Force should condone this and refuse to redress the situation is unacceptable.

“The Government should abandon their Scrooge-like approach and put some extra money into defence coffers so that these people can have an adequate living wage and enjoy a better standard of living.

“That Dr Cullen should only this week be crowing about the surplus just goes to show how out-of-touch Labour are with the very people who put them where they are. They have become an academic party who don’t give a tinker’s cuss about the ordinary working person and it is little wonder that those people have lost faith.

“It’s time to give something back.

ENDS


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