Road Service & Vehicle Inspection Strike
Media Release: 17 December 2007
Road Service & Vehicle Inspection Strike Decision Disappointing for All
A decision by the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) to call roadservice officers and vehicle inspectors out on strike from 11am today, Monday 17 December 2007, is disappointing for all and the AA hopes that the parties can return to the negotiating table as quickly as possible.
AA Communications Manger, Simon Lambourne, says negotiations with the EPMU have been continuing for some weeks and the AA hopes they resume and lead to an agreeable outcome as soon as possible. In the meantime the AA is doing everything it can to ensure business as usual.
“Contingency plans are in place and skeleton roadservice crews will be operating. Members are likely to experience some delays, especially in the major centres such as Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Vehicle inspections may also be affected during this time, but to a lesser extent.”
“There are three key union claims still outstanding – an additional week’s leave after six years service, effectively providing six weeks leave per annum; pay parity across all regions; and claims for a wage increase.”
The changes to the Holidays Act last year moved the minimum annual leave entitlement for all workers from three weeks to four weeks. Roadservice officers currently receive a total of five weeks leave per year. The EPMU now wants an additional (6th) week and the AA has rejected this claim.
In relation to the pay parity claim, little justification or background information had been provided by the union. Throughout the discussions the AA has offered to review the parity question. This review would take in such factors as regional cost of living, accommodation costs, different employment markets and affordability. The AA was willing to engage external remuneration experts to undertake the research.
The third issue, that of a wage increase, needed to take into account market movement, employee turnover, additional work or new skills employees provide. The AA is confident that it is paying in the upper quartile for motor trades. Even so, the AA has made an offer of a 3.6% increase on wages and allowances providing the union withdraw the additional week’s leave claim and accept the proposal to review the pay parity question as outlined above.
“The AA remained ready and willing to return to the negotiating table and was keen to work constructively towards a resolution of the dispute,” says Mr Lambourne.
The New Zealand Automobile Association is an incorporated society with over one million members. It represents the interests of road users who collectively pay over $2 billion in taxes each year through fuels excise, road user charges and GST.