Council strikes on cards

DANIEL ADAMS
Last updated 05:00 28/11/2012

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Strike action by Hamilton City Council workers is looming after last-ditch talks with management over stalled collective agreement negotiations failed.

The PSA wants the right to negotiate pay on 160 members' behalf, but has been stymied by management's refusal to put remuneration on the table.

Council chief executive Barry Harris issued a statement warning that the council's position remained firm on the specific issue the PSA was raising.

"Unfortunately we did not reach agreement today - the PSA want a minimum 1 per cent annual pay increase regardless of staff members' performance or length of service and this is unacceptable to us.

"At the end of the day we're responsible for ratepayers' investment in the delivery of council services; we believe ‘pay for performance' is the only right way to remunerate our staff."

Mr Harris said that in the last pay round PSA members who received a pay increase alongside other council staff received an average rise of 2.1 per cent.

He said the council had contingency plans for most areas in case of strikes.

City councillor Dave Macpherson has sided with staff over the standoff.

"Council wants to be known as a good employer, but this claim is hardly justifiable when management refuse to consider a minuscule 1 per cent pay increase in this time of ever-increasing costs."

PSA members are now considering their next step.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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