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Pay Central To Public Service Rebuilding – PSA

Improved pay and conditions must be central to the ‘immediate and urgent’ rebuilding of the public service, says PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff.

‘We understand this overdue rebuilding is a long- term need and one which needs to managed in a durable and responsible way. Our clear message is that zero pay “offers” are unrealistic and unacceptable,’ Wagstaff told delegates at a union conference in Wellington today.

‘As long as pay remains relatively low we will never be able to adequately recruit and retain staff to provide the quality public services all New Zealanders deserve,’ he said.

He also urged the Government to ‘look at the long-term’ and consider the issues of superannuation, increased annual leave and help in reducing new employee’s student debt burdens in an overall bargaining approach.

The State Services Minister, Trevor Mallard spoke at the conference today.
The PSA was encouraged by Mallard’s acceptance that bargaining parameters for public sector negotiations must ‘have due regard to the desire of the Government to improve service quality and career development and training requirements’.

The Minister also signalled there is flexibility to immediately address the needs of individual public service departments suffering ‘serious recruitment and retention problems and differences in pay relativities.’

The PSA has asked for a formal tripartite approach ‘involving the PSA, Government Ministers and chief executives and guaranteeing the application of bargaining parameters for the public service is done in an open and transparent way,’ Wagstaff said.

‘We will be talking to chief executives on this and expect their support for what is an important component in the overall rebuilding of public services,’ he said.

For more comment or information please call Richard Wagstaff on 025 277 8131
or the PSA communications officer Colin Williams on 025 575 839

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