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Court finds Auck City Council’s actions unlawful

Court finds Auckland City Council’s actions unlawful

A decision handed down on Friday by the full Employment Court requiring Auckland City Council to consult with the PSA under the good faith provisions of the Employment Relations Act is a victory for workers, unions, and the Act, PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said today.

“PSA took Auckland City Council to Court last year over its refusal to consult with us on the Birch Report which recommended huge cuts to council spending and which would have resulted in job losses. Under the ERA the Council was required to consult with the union but it refused. On Friday the Council was told by the Court that it was wrong to so refuse.”

Richard Wagstaff said the Judges found that the Employment Relations Act 2000 “extended the requirements of good faith from the employer-employee relationship to ancillary relationships including those between employers and unions.”

Richard Wagstaff also said the Council was obliged to consult with the union under the Local Government Act which requires local government bodies to ensure their communities are active participants in planning and decision-making.”

“This Council may not believe in inclusive change practices, but it will have to get its act together if it is going to comply with the ERA and the new Local Government Act.”

“PSA took this action on behalf of its members at Auckland City Council because we believe in constructive and positive partnership relationships with employers. To achieve these there needs to be engagement and consultation. In organisations where we have achieved partnership relationships with employers, our members are contributing to policy and decision-making in a positive industrial environment. We believe this approach achieves a much more mutually beneficial result than the traditional confrontational employer/union relationship.”

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