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Legal Aid Staff Strike “Inevitable”:

6 February 2005

Legal Aid Staff Strike “Inevitable”: Waitangi Tribunal Applications Will be Hit

National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) members who work for the government body that grants legal aid will be on strike unless a last minute deal can be brokered this week.

“A strike is inevitable unless the Legal Services Agency (LSA) make an offer on pay. We have been in talks for over six months and the Agency have told us in talks last week that they are ‘philosophically opposed’ to a flat rate percentage increase for members. All we are asking for is a pay increase that reflects cost of living increases and other pressures on members’ incomes. The LSA’s position leaves us no room for manoeuvre”, said NUPE Organiser John Kerr.

“NUPE represents legal aid staff in Wellington, Christchurch, Invercargill and Whangarei. Moreover, we represent all of the staff who process legal aid applications for the Waitangi Tribunal,” said John Kerr.

“Members will stop processing or approving invoices for legal aid, which will mean lawyers will not get paid. We have left the door open for further talks until Thursday. Unless there is a shift in the employer’s position there will be a strike”, said John Kerr.

“Our members are dedicated public servants. They are disappointed that a public body will not make an offer on pay when the there is such a huge surplus in the government’s coffers”, said John Kerr

ENDS


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