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Justice workers pay rally at Supreme Court Opening

PSA Media Release
January 18, 2009
For Immediate Use

Justice workers stage pay rally during Supreme Court opening

Around 100 Ministry of Justice workers and supporters held a rally at the opening of the new Supreme Court in Wellington today to protest the fact the Ministry is underpaying its staff because of its unjust pay system.

A group of around 30 Ministry of Justice workers stood among the crowd on Lambton Quay by the main entrance to the new court building. Another 70 stood on Whitmore Street on the northern side of the new courthouse. They carried placards calling for fair pay.

The protesting workers belong to the Public Service Association. They’ve been taking industrial action to support their claim for fair pay and a fair pay system since October 14 last year.

“This was a peaceful protest to let the public know that the workers who run our justice system are being underpaid,” says PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff.

“The government has spent $80 million on the new Supreme Court while the workers who run our courts are paid 6.3% less than the rest of the public service,” says Richard Wagstaff.

Ministry of Justice figures show its’ staff are being paid 6.3% below the median pay rate for the public service. Some staff are paid as much as 13% below the public service median. The Ministry’s largest group of workers, its 1200 court registry officers, are paid 9.25% below the median.

“This is unfair and unjust and its time the Ministry of Justice and the government recognise that it’s time to negotiate fair pay for the workers who run a service as essential as our justice system,” says Richard Wagstaff.

As well as the protest at the Supreme Court opening Ministry of Justice workers around the country held rallies and took industrial action today in support of their campaign for fair pay.

Ministry of Justice pay rates.

Most court registry officers are paid between $39,600 and $46,600 a year. Their highest pay rate is $53,600. Most court registry support officers are paid between $29,500 and $35,000.Their highest pay rate is $40,000.

ENDS

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