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$700 Bonuses Mask 30% Pay Cuts Over 15 Yrs

Thursday 3 February 2005

$700 Bonuses Mask 30% Pay Cuts Over 15 Yrs

“NUPE rejects ACT’s statement that a one-off payment of $700 to NUPE members when they settled their CEA in March 2004 was made as an encouragement to workers to join Labour Party friendly unions,” said Nadine Marshall, National Secretary of the National Union of Public Employees. She said that NUPE was not affiliated to the Labour Party or the CTU and represented round 100 Ministry of Economic Development staff in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

“NUPE agrees that the bonus payment system which exists in many Government Departments is bordering on corruption,” said Nadine Marshall. “It hides a cut in overall real pay for lower paid public servants of round 30% over the last fifteen years since the current Government funding and pay model was introduced. The salary setting mechanism which provides for unions to ‘negotiate’ pay increases with Departments without the Government having to put the funds in to finance them has lead to this type of bonus led corruption.””

If $395,462 was paid out in bonuses to Ministry of Economic Development workers who belong to unions – it was only paid out once meaning the actual salary level of the workers did not increase. Bonus payments allow Departments to stay within their tight funding constraints but over time have led to wage suppression in the public and health sectors - while the Government budget surplus have increased to $6b per annum.”

“NUPE supports the end of the bonus payment era asap and calls on the government to fund the 30% wage adjustment needed for public and health sector workers,” said Nadine Marshall. “if it is a carrot for workers as ACT claims, then it is a poisoned one.”


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