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Public Service Pay Freeze And Unacceptable "bombshell" - Police Association

The government’s "bombshell" announcement of a three-year public sector wage freeze was dropped at the very moment the Police Association sat down with Police to begin negotiations on the 2021 payround.

Association President Chris Cahill says the sudden policy announcement is absolutely rejected by the association as it in no way demonstrates the ability of a government to bargain in good faith.

"It ignores the reality of the current economic times that loyal Kiwi workers are facing as they, in their private lives, grapple with record house prices and out-of-control rents. Inflation is also on the up with financial experts widely expecting inflation growth in the coming months, let alone the three years of this freeze", Mr Cahill said.

"Such an order is actually consigning workers to pay cuts in real terms."

Mr Cahill said this comes as governments in other parts of the world are giving cash to citizens to promote economic growth.

"Yet this government is doing the opposite to New Zealand workers across multiple sectors.

"For police officers the freeze comes when their work on the frontline of keeping all New Zealanders safe is becoming demonstrably more dangerous. Calls for mental health and suicide-related emergencies are growing, family violence callouts are up 11 per cent year-on-year for the past four years, gang numbers are at an all-time high and organised crime is at such a peak one billion dollars in assets have been seized in the last decade, and the threat and/or use of firearms are now almost a daily occurrence in policing."

Mr Cahill says as an organisation that is solely focused on the wellbeing of its thousands of members, the association believes the government has entirely missed the mark when it comes to acknowledging the work and dedication of police.

"Never before has our frontline faced so many competing challenges which should be acknowledged in a fair and balanced increase in their pay."

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