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Union To Put Employer On “Trial” Strike To Follow

Union To Put Employer On “Trial”; Strike Action To Follow

The National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) is putting the Legal Services Agency (LSA) on “trial” tomorrow.

“Members returned a unanimous vote of no confidence in management last year after the employer adopted a stance of refusing to offer any increase in pay as part of a settlement in collective bargaining”, said NUPE Organiser John Kerr.

“Since then we have tried mediation on several occasions to no avail. The employer remains wedded to the discredited and unfair method of determining pay by management prerogative,” said John Kerr.

“Our union alleges that this stance is indicative of a failure to adapt to the modern industrial relations environment where the vast majority of public sector employees pay is determined through collective bargaining. We are staggered that a crown entity such as the LSA appears to be stuck in last century’s Employment Contracts Act mindset,” said John Kerr.

“We will be holding a hearing tomorrow to determine whether these are allegations have substance. If the employer is deemed to be guilty we will be pronouncing the verdict at a picket to held at Christchurch District Court later this week”, said John Kerr.

“Members have also voted to take industrial action which will be co-ordinated with the “trial” and the picket,” said John Kerr.

“ The Legal Services Agency plays 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 but we have been talking to the employer for 9 months and they are making no offer on pay”, said John Kerr

“NUPE represents 25% of the Legal Services Agency Staff nationwide and nearly all of their Wellington and Christchurch staff. We represent all of the staff who process legal aid applications for the Waitangi Tribunal. The industrial action will affect the Agency from Invercargill to Whangarei” said John Kerr.

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