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Strike Vote In New Zealand Defence Force

Wednesday 22 September

Strike Vote In New Zealand Defence Force

Members of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) working for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) voted to take strike action at a stop work meeting today. NUPE represents civilian workers at Burnham Military Camp who do a range of jobs from storekeeping, administration and payroll through to catering.

NUPE members voted for a four-hour withdrawal of labour and a month long overtime ban.

“NUPE has been in pay talks with NZDF for the past six weeks. We are asking for an 8% salary increase, NZDF have offered 2.5%” said NUPE Organiser John Kerr.

“The members feel that this offer does not properly recognize the contribution they make to the defence of our country. They are fully supportive of their military colleagues, particularly the soldiers they work alongside at Burnham Camp. However, they have reached a point where they want the Chief of the Defence Force to fix the problem of low pay .At a time when the Army faces increasing difficulty finding skilled recruits it seems likely that the contribution civilians make will increase. Those civilians need to be adequately paid,” said John Kerr.

“Our members are paid as little as $22500 per annum. They aren’t asking for the same wages as their military colleagues, but they do want the growing gap between military and civilian pay to be closed a little. It is not sustainable for the New Zealand Armed Forces to be propped up by cheap civilian labour,” said John Kerr.

“This vote is a first for the New Zealand Armed Forces. Going on strike is very much a last resort and we hope NZDF will get back round the table with us so we can fix the problem before the members feel compelled to take action,” said John Kerr

NUPE represents nearly all civilian workers at Burnham Military Camp Media Release Ends


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