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Labour's arrogance knows no bounds

8 July 2005

Judith Collins Family and Welfare Spokesperson

Working Hard for Families

Labour's arrogance knows no bounds

The four main welfare benefits: Unemployment, Sickness, Invalids and the Domestic Purposes Benefit, cost taxpayers $14million every day. That's $2,500 per year for every taxpaying New Zealander. But under Labour that is still not enough. Labour is using taxpayers money to help fund the coffers of its union mates. National has released papers which show how the Labour Government is offering bribes for public servants in Work and Income to join unions.

Work and Income staff are being offered large one-off payments if they are union members by certain dates. If the staff members refuse to join the union, they do not qualify for the payouts. This is compulsory unionism by the taxpayer chequebook. With the pressure of rising costs on family budgets, many people will be forced to join a union to get the extra money on offer.

Department of Courts staff were offered a one-off payment of $640 if they are PSA union members by 17 June. This offer (part of a two year deal) was exclusive to PSA members and was not offered to those who had chosen not to join the union, unless they joined by 17 June.

PSA union dues are $300 a year. So a good chunk of the money ends up going straight into the bucket of Labour's loyal water carriers, the PSA.

Court's staff must be a bit brassed off that Work and Income staff were offered a one-off payment of $1,200 plus two days extra leave to those who were union members by 13 May. No such offer was made to non-union members doing exactly the same work.

These one-off payouts are an underhand payback for the union's loyal support for Labour.

The Work and Income deal looks very much like a breach of the department's own workplace policies which say there should be no pay discrimination between union and non-union members.

So what are the chances of a non-union Work and Income staff member taking a personal grievance claim against Work and Income for discriminatory practice against non-union members? The problem is of course, that those members would have to fund any proceedings themselves, and this would cost considerably more than $1,200. So Labour's arrogance continues.


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