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More trouble in education as industrial action looms at NZQA

More trouble in education as industrial action looms at NZQA

Staff at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority are looking to hold stop work meetings in the New Year over NZQA’s refusal to negotiate pay and attempts to take positions out of the collective agreement.

The PSA, which represents over 230 staff, has been in collective agreement negotiations with NZQA but talks are at risk of stalling.

PSA Assistant National Secretary Jeff Osborne says PSA members feel NZQA has put forward a position which is unacceptable, and does not seem prepared to negotiate it further.

“Many members have not had a pay increase on their base salary for several years - yet NZQA is refusing to negotiate pay through the collective negotiation process. Instead it wants to continue to use a complicated matrix system which has large elements of the annual remuneration review outcome predetermined, which staff have no confidence in.”

The PSA is arguing for a simpler pay system which will deliver reasonable pay increases for everyone.

Jeff Osborne says another big concern is that NZQA is trying to take away people’s rights to be part of a collective.
“NZQA wants to have around 42 positions in the organisation out of the collective. That means anyone who applies for or moves into one of those positions cannot be party to the collective agreement and will have to go onto an individual agreement.”

“This goes against people’s right to belong to a collective and their ability to be covered by a decent, collectively negotiated agreement. It is an underhand attempt to limit staff choice and erode collective bargaining.”

The PSA has suggested the formation of a working party to work through the issues raised by NZQA around perceived conflict of interest but NZQA has rejected that.

The PSA is urging NZQA to reconsider their position before a return to bargaining in the New Year, but members are now looking to hold stop work meetings in the New Year to consider their options, including possible escalating industrial action, if no further progress is made.

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