Bargaining at Statistics New Zealand

Keep up to date with all the latest news on the Statistics New Zealand bargaining.

123 logoThe story so far:

On 24 November the PSA and Statistics New Zealand agreed to return to bargaining.

Prior to this, members overwhelmingly voted against ratifying the proposed collective at just over 99% nationally. Based on this overwhelming rejection, the PSA balloted members on a course of industrial action.

Feedback from the member’s meetings was clear. Strong, high level action is required to express to the employer the level of dissatisfaction over their responses to PSA claims.

Industrial action was in effect from September and progression with the employer had been slow.

Use the tabs below to look at all the information and activity that has been produced since bargaining began.  We have photos, background material, contact details and much more.

Your bargaining team will add more content to this page as it becomes available.

Your bargaining team:

Jenny Devereux

Roslyn Denton

Allan Thompson

Nathan McCluskey

Scott Trainor

Peter Mohan

Your organisers:

Susannah Bailey (Auckland)

Megan Casey (Wellington)

David Ivory (Christchurch)

Freephone 0508 367 772

For immediate assistance, contact the PSA Organising Centre.
Freephone 0508 367 772



Stats say they are not throwing money away - Stuff

Statistics NZ staff battle phantom pay rise - Dominion Post.

Statistics staff take dispute to minister - 3 News.

Controversial smoko break law slammed - One News.

Stats NZ staff work to rule - Dominion Post.


The rallies attracted lots of media attention:

On Stuff , a report and video on the Wellington rally, including comment from delegate Peter Mohan.

On TVNZ a report and video, with comment from national secretary Richard Wagstaff.

A report on Radio NZ , with comment from Grant Robertson MP.

TV3 had comment from Auckland members.

In the NZ Herald , a report on the “rowdy" Wellington protest.

Organiser Susannah Bailey is quoted in a Yahoo News report.

And on CTV , excellent comment from delegate Nathan McCluskey.

Strike action is about withdrawing the supply of labour. It is done to send a signal to the employer that we, as employees, are not happy with the current situation and we are not happy to continue offering our labour at the same quality and quantity unless some changes are made in a fair and negotiated way. It is done to exert pressure on the employer, and to help them understand that the status quo is not a cost free option.

If you go on strike you will not be paid for the time that you are on strike. This means that initially, you could lose the equivalent of two day’s pay. However, the PSA expects that this cost will be recouped in the form of a one off lump-sum cash payment to members, as part of the settlement. This is something we have negotiated successfully for in the past. We expect that the sum will be more than sufficient to cover any costs to members from taking strike action. You will also be better off in the long run if we can achieve the improvements we are seeking to the pay system.

Strike action, by its very nature, is designed to cause a small and sustained level of disruption to the normal operation of the workplace. It is designed to create an incentive for the employer to come back to the table and negotiate fairly. That pressure may come in the form of time or quality impacts on key outputs. If the action is not having an impact on these things, then it is not serving its intended purpose, and there will be no incentive for the employer to adjust their approach.

The important thing to remember is that strike action is perfectly lawful behaviour. Those who are taking the action are doing it as a part of a wider group campaign, and it is the actions of the collective group that add an incentive for the employer to change their position. No impact of the industrial action will be directly attributable to an individual.

Yes. If Statistics NZ comes back to the table and begins negotiating fairly, in a way that addresses the very serious issues we have put on the table then we can withdraw the strike notice. In fact, we would prefer to avoid the strike action if at all possible, but we need to show that we are also willing to make a stand if Stats is unwilling to change its position.

Strike action
Strike action will involve two days when PSA members withdraw their labour for the day. You will not attend work on those days. We think this will send a very strong signal to Stats NZ and create a strong incentive to make progress at the negotiating table. We also believe that it is likely members will be more than reimbursed for the loss of pay by the lump sum cash payment we are negotiating for.

Work to rule
Work to rule involves working only the hours prescribed in the CEA (7.5 hours per day and 37.5 per week). It also involves taking all morning and afternoon tea breaks, and the campaign committee will look at scheduling a collective tea break each week for office based staff. This will create an impact on key products, as Stats often relies on the goodwill of staff to go the extra mile to ensure key outputs are delivered on time to a high quality. We do not envisage any costs to members from this action.

The refusal to engage with Wingspan will result in delays to setting of performance objectives for the year. The PSA will provide a written statement that members can pass to their managers if they are directed to use the Wingspan system. We will also communicate to the employer that members will be refusing to use the system. We do not envisage any cost to members from this action.

Field interviewers
Field interviewers will ensure that they take two consecutive days off work. This reflects the erosion of goodwill that field interviewers have shown by completing work tasks on their designated days off. This is likely to cause a small disruption and delay to information processing. Field interviewers will also be asked to continue meeting deadlines, but in a very specific way. We will communicate more information on this shortly. We do not envisage any cost to members from this action.

Members have told us for some time that they are not happy with the current pay system at Statistics NZ.

The PSA remuneration review showed that Statistics NZ is out of sync with the other agencies that we examined, and we have presented a well-researched, evidence based case for change. While we would all no doubt prefer to avoid industrial action, members have told us they are sick of being treated unfairly and they are willing to make a stand this time.

Members have also told us that they think we should take on board the lessons learnt from the last round of collective negotiations when we started off with a slow build up to industrial action and it fizzled out. Members felt this dragged the process out, and it has been suggested that a strong initial response is required to ensure Statistics NZ is in no doubt about how serious we take these issues. In short, members have told us that they are in strong support of this action.