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Workers At Radio New Zealand Warn Of Industrial Action Over Pay Claim

The failure of RNZ management to agree to a pay rise which fairly reflects the rising cost of living could see workers at RNZ take industrial action warns the PSA and E tū.

Workers are pushing for a 7% rise while RNZ is offering 5.5%.

"Workers at RNZ are like so many around the country who are facing a big squeeze on their household budgets from rising supermarket bills and mortgage interest costs, so we believe 7% is fair and reasonable," said Kerry Davies, National Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

E tū union organiser Dr Michael Gilchrist said, "Union members feel betrayed by the offer, and angry that at this time the RNZ board awarded a $65,000 bonus to chief executive Paul Thompson. That’s no less than a full year’s salary for many staff."

More than half of RNZ's staff of around 300 stopped work to meet this week to discuss progress in bargaining for the collective agreement. Others provided essential cover for the national broadcaster.

The meeting resolved to back the claim for a 7% pay increase and advised RNZ if a satisfactory offer was not made by next Wednesday (13 December), members would ask their unions to initiate a secret ballot on industrial action.

RNZ received a net funding boost of $23M but says most of that money would be spent on new technology and new projects. That is despite Paul Thompson telling staff at meetings earlier this year that probably the biggest driver of RNZ’s strategy was to ‘retain, train, pay and support our people’.

Around three quarters of RNZ workers are covered by the collective agreement and are members of E tū or the PSA.

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