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Disaster averted for state sector workers

David Cunliffe
Associate Finance Spokesperson

23 May 2013

Disaster averted for state sector workers

Changes forced to the State Sector and Public Finance Reform Bill (SSPFRB) by Labour and the state sector unions have averted disaster for government workers who were set to lose their redundancy entitlements and employment rights, Labour’s Associate Finance Spokesperson David Cunliffe said.

Amendments agreed by Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Select Committee to the SSPFRB were tabled in the House today.

The Bill has been heavily amended in response to strong submissions from state sector employees themselves and their representatives.

“Tough negotiations at FEC have resulted in a much better Bill, where employees’ rights are now better protected than they would have been,” David Cunliffe said.

“Redundancy provisions have been improved so that state sector employees retain their entitlements unless accepting a position that is ‘no less favourable’ than their existing package.

“Transition arrangements have been improved so that collective agreements and individual agreements are sunsetted equally, three years after the Bill takes effect.

“Government workforce policy statements have been revised to ensure that all existing legal and bargaining rights have been protected.

“Conflict of interest protections; enhanced governance for delegated powers; and strengthened accountability requirements in public sector financial reporting have all been achieved through the committee’s deliberations.

“Although Labour still has significant concerns over some aspects of the Bill, the amendments achieved in Committee, with the support of unions, mean Labour will now support the passage of the Bill,” David Cunliffe said.

ENDS

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