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Ministry of Justice ignoring disruption in courts


PSA MEDIA RELEASE
December 10, 2009
For Immediate Use
Ministry of Justice ignoring disruption in courts

“The Ministry of Justice’s is treating court users throughout the country with contempt by ignoring the major disruption being caused by Ministry staff who’re taking industrial action,” says Public Service Association national secretary Richard Wagstaff.

The president of the Auckland District Law Society, Anna Fitzgibbon this afternoon said the pay dispute “must be resolved as quickly as possible” because of the disruption being caused by the industrial action.

“This protracted strike, which is now almost two months old, is having major ramifications for all Court users, defendants, victims, lawyers and judges,” says Ms Fitzgibbon.

“Court cases are being delayed and adjourned because of the ongoing strike which is not only expensive, but also very stressful for all parties involved,” says Ms Fitzgibbon.

The Ministry of Justice has responded to this disruption and the plea for the pay dispute to be resolved by refusing to return to the negotiating table.

“The Ministry’s refusal to resume negotiations is shameful and irresponsible,” says Richard Wagstaff.

”The Ministry is turning its back on all court users - defendants, victims, lawyers and judges – who’re being disrupted because the Ministry refuses to address their staff’s long standing pay problems.”

“The only way to address the fact the Ministry is paying its staff on average 6.3% less than the rest of the public service because of an unjust pay system is through constructive negotiations.”

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

“It’s unacceptable the Ministry will not talk 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.”

“The Ministry must stop treating the people of New Zealand who’re seeking justice in our courts with contempt by refusing to negotiate a resolution of this pay dispute,” says Richard Wagstaff.

ENDS

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