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Govt sets NZ up for epic year of strikes

23 January 2019

Govt sets NZ up for epic year of strikes

Less than a month into 2019 the signs are that New Zealand is facing another epic year of strikes thanks to a Government that seesaws between egging on the unions and arguing with them, National’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Scott Simpson says.

“This is the new employment landscape the Government wants New Zealanders to endure. Strikes become the norm. Ordinary families become the meat in the sandwich between newly empowered unions and employers including the Government.

“The Education Minister says teachers would be unjustified in striking again. But it is his Government which laid the groundwork for disruptions that will affect students, parents and schools around the country.

“There’s talk of a mega-strike combining primary and secondary teachers, a tactic designed to cause maximum disruption to New Zealand families. The Government appears unconcerned.

“Employment demands have also spread in the health sector. Junior doctors, of which there are 4000 including 3500 in their union, say they’re prepared to strike again over conditions such as shifts, creating massive disruption for Kiwis needing health services.

“Learning support managers, whose teams support children with extra learning needs, walked off the job this week over their parity pay claim.

“Union leaders have vowed to make 2019 a year to remember for all the wrong reasons. The Government is part-way through its attempt to re-engineer our workplaces. Having made them less flexible it is seemingly now intent on centralised wage fixing.

“Last year was the worst for strikes in three decades but that isn’t a record Kiwis deserve to have broken this year.

“National believes economic growth is the best way to drive up wage growth and create employment opportunities. We will reverse this Government’s employment law changes and focus on a sensible economic growth strategy that give all Kiwis more opportunities.”

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