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Defence ‘rebalancing’ is unfair dismissal

CTU Media Release

29 June 2011

Defence ‘rebalancing’ is unfair dismissal

Announcements today that the our Defence forces are going to make over 308 people apply on the open market for jobs they already hold is an outrageous abuse of power and would not happen if these workers were covered by the standard employment relations law, CTU president Helen Kelly said.

There have been special constitutional reasons why our defence forces are not covered by employment law but the unwritten agreement has been that this will not be abused in a way that disadvantages them in the gross way now occurring.

“It is clear the move from uniformed to non-uniformed personnel is being primarily driven to cut wages and conditions. It’s fine for the Defence Force to restructure, but to then make these workers apply for their own jobs on the open market is simply orchestrating what would be an unfair dismissal in any other normal business and these men and women deserve more respect than that,” Helen Kelly said.

Helen Kelly called on the Defence Minister and Prime Minister to step in and demand fair treatment of these workers and give them priority for all jobs that are continuing after the restructure. “I can quote many speeches where the PM has recognised the dedication of armed force personnel – now is his chance to insist they are entitled to the same rights as any other New Zealand worker.”

ENDS

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