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Courts Settlement Ratified By PSA Members

PSA members working in the Department for Courts have ratified a ground-breaking settlement for a new remuneration system that will result in significant pay increases for many staff.

Describing the settlement as the PSA’s “partnership for quality in action”, national secretary Richard Wagstaff says it highlights what can be achieved when the staff, union and management work together in the interests of creating a high quality public service.

“The public service had developed a low pay, low morale culture. We are now in the process of turning this around and the success of these negotiations will contribute to this.“

Rather than an across-the-board percentage pay increase, the new salary structure rewards staff for competencies and offers a clear and transparent line of progression. The settlement is also innovative in providing an additional two days’ annual leave for PSA members with less than six years’ service.

“The extra leave for PSA members acknowledges their significant contribution through the partnership agreement to the development of new policies more in tune with the needs of a modern and responsive public service,” says Richard Wagstaff.

He says Rodney Hide’s description of the leave as a “perk” shows a poor understanding of labour law and the partnership relationship PSA members have developed with government ministries and departments. “Most New Zealanders find it fundamentally unfair that union-negotiated settlements be passed on to non-union members as ACT suggests.”

The settlement is being funded by a $7 million injection of new money that was achieved after a joint approach to Government by the PSA and Courts.

“Staff were grossly underpaid and this was having a deleterious effect on the quality of service that could be provided,” says Richard Wagstaff. “Our case for extra funding was clearly proven in the eyes of both Government and Treasury.”

Now that the settlement has been ratified (by 68 percent), he says the PSA will be working with Courts in the development of new assessment systems to reflect the terms of the new collective agreement.


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