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Legal action planned against Ministry of Justice

PSA Media Release Header

14 December 2012

Legal action planned against Ministry of Justice over redundancy waiver

The Public Service Association is planning legal action against the Ministry of Justice over its failure to lift a redundancy waiver for staff moving to work with a private contractor.

Following a significant restructure at the Ministry’s head office, ICT services are being contracted out to the private company Fujitsu. As a result over 50 staff have had their jobs disestablished and some are now being offered employment with Fujitsu.

Staff are now being asked to sign a waiver before they can formally accept a position with Fujitsu which waives current rights to terms and conditions including redundancy entitlements.

“This is in clear breach of the collective agreement and is unlawful” says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

“Fujitsu is offering contracts with significantly lower wages and conditions which mean ordinary redundancy entitlements should apply and be paid out, yet the Ministry of Justice is actively seeking to deny workers those entitlements.”

“It looks as though the Ministry has clearly entered into a commercial arrangement with Fujitsu which penalises workers and protects itself from paying out rightful redundancy.

The PSA also believes it is improper during times of high unemployment to put pressure on workers to forego their entitlements.

Staff have been given a deadline of 5pm Monday to sign the waiver and accept new jobs with Fujitsu.

“Affected staff are basically being given an unfair choice of either signing the waiver or not having a job,” Mr Wagstaff says.

“This is a very worrying development for those employed in the public service overall.”

The PSA is urging staff not to sign away their employment rights and is taking legal action against the Ministry saying the waiver is unlawful and must be withdrawn.


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