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South Auckland truancy officers on strike tomorrow

9 September 2008

South Auckland truancy officers on strike tomorrow

South Auckland truancy officers will be on strike tomorrow from 10am - 11am in support of a claim for decent pay.

The Otara-based officers want a salary of $40,000 to bring them into line with truancy officers elsewhere. Despite working in one of the most difficult areas of the country they receive considerably less pay than other truancy officers employed in surrounding areas.

They are paid just $33,000 and must use their own vehicles to visit schools and homes. In neighboring more affluent suburbs we know of truancy officers being paid $38,000 with a car provided and unlimited cell phone use. The South Auckland officers must exist on 13% less pay, provide their own car and limit cell phone calls to $15 per week.

The officers are employed by the Otara Boards Forum which has a government contract to run truancy services across South Auckland. However the contract does not allow for decent rates of pay. We know the Forum would like to pay these officers more but are hamstrung by the restraints of government funding through the contract.

"These workers do a critically important job across the South Auckland community. They work with families in very difficult circumstances to give these children their best shot at education yet the government expects them to work for peanuts".

"The officers themselves are working hard to develop a highly professionalized service which is deeply appreciated across the community. The government is effectively undercutting them with a very poorly funded contract."

The officers will be on strike at the corner of East Tamaki Road and Otara Roads from 10am.


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