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Legal Aid Staff Vote To Take Strike Action

30 January 2005

Legal Aid Staff Vote To Take Strike Action

National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) members who work for the government body that grants legal aid have voted to take industrial action if their pay talks do not yield fruit next week.

“After being in negotiations with the Legal Services Agency (LSA) for 6 months we have yet to receive any offer on pay”, said NUPE Organiser John Kerr.

“Our members have voted unanimously to stop processing or approving invoices for legal aid if progress is not made in negotiations. That would mean lawyers wouldn’t get paid”, said John Kerr.

“LSA staff play a vital role in processing legal aid applications. They are a critical link in the chain that ensures people get access to justice. Members have not taken this decision lightly. We are keen to meet with LSA and avert a strike if at all possible”, said John Kerr

“NUPE represents 25% of the Legal Services Agency Staff and nearly all of their Wellington and Christchurch staff. We represent all of the staff who process legal aid applications for the Waitangi Tribunal,” said John Kerr.

“All we are asking for is a pay offer that reflects the current rate of inflation and other pressures on members’ finances. With a record surplus in government coffers it is staggering that a crown entity like LSA is making no offer on pay” said John Kerr

ENDS

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