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Justice workers call on Ministry to resume negs

PSA Media Release
December 10, 2009
For Immediate Use

Justice workers call on Ministry to resume negotiations

Ministry of Justice staff who collect fines and work at courts and tribunals throughout the country are holding lunch break rallies today calling on the Ministry to resume negotiations.

The rallies will be held from 12.30pm today, outside courts and other Ministry of Justice worksites throughout the country, while the workers involved are on their lunch breaks.

These workers, who belong to the PSA, have been taking industrial action since October 14 and have staged six nationwide strikes and numerous local strikes.

They have also banned overtime and are taking their work breaks together rather than staggering them as they normally do to keep services running.

”These workers are holding rallies today to tell the Ministry it needs to pull its head out of the sand and return to the negotiating table,” says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

“They’re angry the Ministry continues to ignore the fact that they’re being paid on average 6.3% less than the rest of the public service because of its unjust pay setting system.”

“They’re angry that the Ministry pays its largest group of workers, court registry officers, almost 10% less than the public service median.”

“They want to know why the Ministry refuses to address the fact that they’re being significantly underpaid for running something as essential as our justice system.”

“The Ministry has no excuses for not negotiating when we’ve tabled a constructive offer that would cost about $10 million.”

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“Why isn’t the Ministry talking when the gap to be negotiated is only about $5 million and we’re offering to help bridge that gap?”

“Our offer involves the staff and PSA working with the Ministry to reduce their costs by finding ways of working more efficiently, identifying and eliminating wasteful spending and improving productivity.”

“We reject the Ministry claim that our offer is unaffordable when the Ministry’s latest annual report showed it had $494 million of operating revenue at the end of June,” says Richard Wagstaff.

ENDS

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