Pay impasse could cause council strike

16:00, Nov 23 2012

Industrial action is among responses unionised city council workers will consider at meetings on Monday after collective contract talks stalled over pay.

The Public Service Association wants the right to negotiate pay on their rising membership's behalf added to the expired agreement, which management has refused, creating an impasse on top of already strained workplace relations.

Its members will vote on whether to accept management proposals.

Council organisational development general manager Olly Te Ua was aware of the stopwork meetings but said negotiations were ongoing.

"We do understand that industrial action is one of the potential outcomes."

Council-wide restructuring to carve 60 jobs from the city payroll has already savaged staff morale, and workers speaking privately to the Waikato Times believe some staff's patience with management has reached breaking point.

Currently remuneration is excluded from the collective agreement, which one worker said meant a "take-it-or-leave-it" situation which lacks transparency.

The PSA may be hoping its growing ranks - up 60 per cent in the past year but still a minority of council workers - will lend strength to its bargaining hand.


Waikato Times