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Ministry of Justice staff taking industrial action

PSA Media Release
October 13, 2009
For Immediate Use

Ministry of Justice staff taking industrial action

More than 1700 Ministry of Justice staff, who run the country’s courts and tribunals, are taking industrial action from tomorrow (Wednesday October 14).

“Justice staff are taking action to protest the Ministry refusing to give them a pay rise despite paying them well below the public service median pay rate,” says Public Service Association national secretary Richard Wagstaff.

The workers taking action belong to the PSA and have been trying to negotiate a pay rise since their two collective employment agreements expired on June 30.

They’ve voted to take industrial action that begins tomorrow (Wednesday October 14) with a ‘work to rule’ and will escalate into strike action if they do not get a fair settlement.

“The Ministry of Justice underpays its staff despite the essential work they do running the country’s courts and tribunals and collecting fines,” says Richard Wagstaff.

The Ministry of Justice’s own figures show the Ministry underpay their staff. They show some Justice staff are paid 13% below the public service median; that a total of 1200 staff are paid 9.25% below the median; and that on average the Ministry of Justice pays its staff 6.3% below the public service median pay rate.

“Justice staff are underpaid because the Ministry has an unjust pay system that denies them the right to collectively negotiate how much they’re paid,” Richard Wagstaff.

“The Ministry needs to recognise that this unjust pay system is not working for the staff or the Ministry.”

“Underpaying staff is bad for morale and does nothing to enhance productivity. The pay system is also divisive which undermines the ability of staff to work as a team.”

“Justice staff are fed up with this unjust pay system. They want to be able to collectively negotiate their pay so they can start being fairly rewarded for the essential work they do.”

“After three months of negotiations, that has included mediation, they’re still being denied the right to negotiate a fair pay rise and have voted to take industrial action.”

“The action begins tomorrow (Wednesday October 14) with a ‘work to rule’ and will escalate into rolling strikes if they don’t get a fair settlement,” says Richard Wagstaff.

Ministry of Justice staff industrial action campaign begins Wednesday Oct 14

The action will commence with a ‘work to rule.’ The action will gradually escalate over a four week period to strike action. If the dispute remains unresolved the staff involved will meet to decide further industrial action

ENDS

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