Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

NIWA science workers prepare for first ever strike action

Employees of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research say they don’t want to take industrial action, but management have backed them into a corner.

Hundreds of Public Service Association members at NIWA will walk off the job across New Zealand between 1pm and 3pm on Thursday November 21st, and will refuse to submit time sheets between November 21st and December 6th.

The striking science workers say their dispute is primarily about respect in the workplace, not pay, and they will spend the strike in their community cleaning up beaches, parks and rivers.

This will be the first industrial action taken by Crown Research Institute employees since they were created in 1992.

"With the threat of climate change looming over our planet and growing community concern about our freshwater, coasts and oceans, it’s hard to understand why NIWA are being so belligerent," says PSA organiser Brett Denham.

"Our members work at the forefront of some of the most critical environmental issues facing the planet and are recognised as international experts in their fields. They would rather focus on research than be forced into going on strike."

PSA members have agreed to NIWA’s proposed pay increase of 2%, but NIWA has refused to settle with the union despite over 16 months of bargaining.

Industrial action was narrowly averted over similar points of contention two years ago, and the PSA is frustrated NIWA has remained unwilling to meaningfully negotiate.

The Crown Research Institute is refusing to allow overtime compensation to some staff working unsociable hours in excess of contracted obligations, and some union members say they feel targeted and discriminated against in the workplace.

Staff are facing significant and stressful disruption as NIWA redevelops three major campuses, and management plans have already led to the loss of valued childcare facilities in Wellington.

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway has stated he expects Crown Research Institutes to engage in collective bargaining in good faith, emphasising "Good Employer obligations" and prioritising the closing of gender pay gaps.

Going through the motions of bargaining without genuinely negotiating or intending to settle the collective agreement is not good faith.

The PSA calls upon NIWA to live up to Government expectations and the objectives of the Employment Relations Act and start showing respect for the collective bargaining rights of its employees.

"For some reason the people running NIWA are determined to start an industrial conflict with their own science staff, and we can only assume this is motivated by outdated anti-union ideology and a desire to undermine the collective agreement in favour of individual contracts," says Mr Denham.

"From our perspective it’s totally unnecessary and we want to sign a deal, but our members are determined to stand up for their rights if that’s what it takes."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Whakaari / White Island Eruption: Body recovery operation

The NZ Defence Force recovered the bodies of six people who tragically died in Monday’s eruption on Whakaari/White Island and will support efforts to recover the bodies of two others in the hope there is resolution for those families. .. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Welfare Vs Infrastructure Spending

If New Zealand has a pressing need to stimulate its flagging economy, it seems very weird that the government is choosing a $12 billion package of infrastructure spending – mainly on road and rail – that by definition, will take a very long time to deliver their stimulatory benefits ... More>>

New Reports: "Immediate Commitment To Doing Justice Differently"

Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and Te Tangi o te Manawanui: Recommendations for Reform from the Chief Victims Advisor. Both recommend a fresh approach to the way criminal justice has been approached... More>>

ALSO:

"Heart-Breaking And Confronting": Surgical Mesh Restorative Justice Report

Minister Genter: “People have talked about losing the life they had enjoyed before surgical mesh harmed them – the loss of a steady job, the ability to exercise, a loving relationship in some cases. Others described the chronic pain they experienced..." More>>

ALSO:

Law Foundation: Government Decryption Powers Must Respect Privacy

The power of government to order users and companies to decrypt encrypted data and devices needs stronger privacy protections and additional safeguards, according to a study published by researchers at the University of Waikato. More>>

Latest 'Discussion Doc': National On Healthcare

National has today released our eighth Discussion Document which focusses on health and outlines a range of policies which will enable more Kiwis to access high-quality healthcare, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Select Committee Report: Combatting Foreign Election Interference

MPs have finally delivered their recommendations to combat foreign interference in elections in a long awaited and much delayed report. More>>

Mosque Attacks: Names Of Arresting Officers Released

Police are now in the position to name the two officers involved in the arrest of the alleged gunman responsible for the attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques on March 15. More>>

Big, Bold, Permanent Change Needed: Children's Commissioner On 2019 Child Poverty Monitor

“I want to see family incomes dramatically raised by increasing benefits and making the minimum wage a living wage. And the Government needs to move much faster at increasing the supply of social housing..." More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels