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Fisheries Officers To Strike Friday 29 October

Fisheries Officers To Strike Friday 29 October

“Fishery Officers have voted to strike for one day on Friday 29 October,” Martin Cooney, organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) said today.

“The strike relates to the employer’s refusal to make any movement in the negotiations to renew a Collective Employment Agreement which has been expired since February 2003. The negotiations were also undermined by the Ministry’s Proposal for Change which proposes to cut out about 40% of front line staff outside three hubs in Auckland Wellington and Nelson.”

“Fishery Officers had undertaken their first industrial action for twenty five years when they had voted to work to rule in the first week in July,” said Martin Cooney. “The Ministry reacted by threatening to suspend the Fishery Officers. NUPE withdrew the action following one day’s work to rule, and upon request, placed a package for settlement in front of the Ministry.”

“The Ministry rejected our package outright on 20 August and then produced the proposal for change on 3 September,” said Martin Cooney.

“As well as the cuts to front line staff, the proposal cut right across our negotiations. For example, instead of a ‘Senior Fishery Officer’ position as NUPE was seeking, the Proposal introduced a ‘Junior Investigator’ position (but paying less).”

“Fishery Officers do not take the vote strike lightly given how stretched their numbers are and their intense belief in the value of their jobs. What is evident from this decision is the widening gap between central management of the Ministry and those performing the work at the beachfront,” said Martin Cooney.

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