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Public Service Expectations represent progress

Public Service Expectations represent progress for people working in public services - PSA

Public service workers welcome the strong commitments made by the government in its Expectations on Employment Relations in the State Sector, the PSA says.

The Expectations have been released today, setting out clear guidelines around collective bargaining, pay and conditions.

"The PSA is pleased this government has made such a firm commitment to move to improved consistency in pay and conditions across agencies," PSA National Secretaries Erin Polaczuk and Glenn Barclay say.

"We are particularly encouraged by the policy driver for State sector employers to address any pay equity claims through the process established by the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles and to work to close gender pay gaps.

"These Expectations are a step toward fixing some of the barriers to better and more joined up public services - they are a clear statement of intent about valuing public service workers.

"Our civilian members in New Zealand Defence Force went to the Employment Relations Authority last year and won the right to bargain collectively on pay - the new Expectations make this a requirement for the whole public service.

"While we are disappointed there is no clear statement about the Living Wage, our members will take this up in bargaining. The instruction to public service departments to narrow the gap between the highest and lowest earners is a clear signal to agencies to come to the table prepared to deliver on this."

Mr Barclay and Ms Polaczuk say public servants have had nine years of very low pay increases, and the Expectations will give scope to negotiate fairer reward for their work.

"For the last 9 years, people working for public service departments have effectively been under a wage freeze - with increases well below other sectors.

"We note an expectation that agencies should look at broadly-based benefits, including domestic and parental leave, flexible working, capability and portability for future workforces and so on. This is helpful but this cannot replace fair pay increases.

"The PSA believes collective bargaining on a single set of terms and conditions for the public services would benefit employees, managers and agencies alike. The Expectations show a clear commitment to this, and we’re excited to continue to engage towards this goal."


The Government Expectations on Employment Relations in the State Sector sets out general policies for employment and workplace relations, negotiation of individual and collective employment agreements, and agency policies on pay and conditions.

All state sector organisations except State Owned Enterprises and Mixed Ownership Model companies must have regard to the Expectations when setting bargaining and remuneration strategy and determining other employment relations policies. They can be viewed here: http://www.ssc.govt.nz/govt-expectations-pay-employment ENDS

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