Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Unions to Meet Government Over GATS Concerns

Unions to Meet Government Over GATS Concerns

A delegation of union leaders headed by the Council of Trade Unions will meet Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Michael Cullen tomorrow morning to voice concerns about New Zealand’s commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

The meeting coincides with a global day of action against GATS.

CTU Secretary Paul Goulter said there were significant issues surrounding the Government’s position on an initial offer by New Zealand in this round of GATS negotiations.

“Unions believe that the 31 March deadline for the initial offer is far too soon and leaves little time for consultation on a complex set of issues,” said Paul Goulter.

“There is no basis for further commitments to be made on top of the extensive commitments made in 1994,” he said.

“In fact unions want the Government to withdraw from earlier commitments made in education and audio-visual services”.

Paul Goulter said protection of a wide range of public services was vital. The CTU had already met trade officials to express its concerns about requests made in specific sectors such as postal services, transport and education.

“Though the Government has stated it would make no offers to limit its right to provide, fund or regulate public services, parts of education and broadcasting are already covered by GATS, raising questions over whether some of New Zealand’s public services are already subject to GATS rules,” he said.

Paul Goulter said it was crucial that GATS commitments did not undermine the ability of current and future Governments to regulate in the national interest or diminish the importance and relevance of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Union leaders will meet Dr Cullen at 11am, Thursday 13 March

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election