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Ministry Of Fisheries Refuses Mediation

Tuesday 26 October 2004

Ministry Of Fisheries Refuses Mediation On Strike

“The Ministry of Fisheries has declined to attend mediation to try to avert the Fishery Officers’ strike on Friday 29 October,” Martin Cooney, organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) said today.

“Despite NUPE first seeking mediation on 10 September and again on 22 October and then giving the Ministry two weeks notice of the strike on Friday, Fisheries has refused to find time to try to sort out the issues behind the strike before it takes place,” said Martin Cooney. “This is despite them being informed last Friday that the mediation service had made a day available tomorrow (27/10) at short notice to NUPE and the Ministry for such a mediation.”

“The strike relates to the employer’s refusal to revalue Fishery Officers’ remuneration as part of the CEA negotiations. Feelings are also running high with the undermining of negotiations by the Ministry’s Proposal to cut out about 40% of front line staff outside three ‘hubs’,” said Martin Cooney.

“Fishery Officers have voted for a one day strike to send a message to their employer,” said Martin Cooney. “Plainly the Ministry needs a stronger message for it to get through to them that Fishery Officers are just not going to take it any more. “

“For the Ministry to say they are too busy tomorrow is simply irresponsible as was the suggestion about praying for rain on Friday,” said Martin Cooney. “New Zealand communities who face the pillaging of their fish stocks on Friday will ask why a Wellington bureaucrat could not get off his backside to sort out this issue.

New Zealanders will see that the Ministry is not prepared to let a third party look at their arguments, indicating the lack of strength of their position.”

ENDS

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