Employment ministry staff plan to strike

SHANE COWLISHAW
Last updated 05:00 12/06/2014

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More than 1000 staff at the ministry that oversees employment dispute resolutions are planning to strike after failed salary negotiations.

Members of the Public Service Association will gather at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's central office on The Terrace in Wellington for two hours from 10.20am tomorrow.

In Auckland, a further 350 staff will gather outside the ministry's office in Queen St at 10.40am before marching to QE2 Square.

PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said the action was in protest at the ministry's unwillingness to negotiate a fair deal.

A 1 per cent wage increase offer had been tabled by the ministry, but only with the condition that a 1 per cent clawback was included in the progressive union salary scale, he said.

"We've been negotiating for nearly a year, and the best they can offer is basically nothing."

Ministry corporate services deputy chief executive Peter Thomas said the industrial action was disappointing. The ministry had offered a "fair, affordable and sustainable" package that would result in an average 2.1 per cent increase for association members.

Services to the public would be maintained during the action, and the ministry would be happy to return to the bargaining table when it was over, he said.

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- The Dominion Post

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