MPI news

Other pages - PSA at MPI,  Projects and Bargaining


Dog Handers dispute - second and third stories plus PSA comment 20 Sep -

Dog Handlers dispute - first TV story 19 Sep -

Readiness & Response Services restructure - Final decision document - PSA has been advised of this decision. If any members require support please contact an organiser or a delegate [Sep]

National Health and Safety committee meeting - PSA organiser and lead health and safety delegate attended the quarterly meeting in Christchurch [Sep]

BCS regional ports review -MPI has announced an upcoming review of regional ports, the way they work and the Regional Ports Officer role. They have spoken to us already and we have made suggestions on how the review could run [Sep]

Compliance union management meeting - Compliance delegates met with the Compliance Director in Auckland for the regular union / management meeting [Sep]

Fisheries Observers bargaining - Key claims have been finalised ready for presentation to MPI management [Sep]

Issues going on

BT & IS restructuring - MPI has announced a restructuring BT & IS. The final decision on the proposal will be announced on 1 August. Any members affected who need union support please make contact with us (July)

Compliance specific entitlements - We are trying to sort out how some specific entitlements apply in Compliance. Delegates and HR have discussed. We are waiting for implementation. (Aug)

Dog Handlers roster dispute Auckland - This lengthy dispute is about Handlers being moved onto a roster that reduced their days off from 4 to 2.

  • Talks between the PSA and MPI to resolve this have broken down.
  • We have written to the Director-General to ask him to intervene to ensure Handlers' health and safety which is being affected by the dispute. We have received a reply that the matter will be addressed by the Auckland Campus project.
  • We have raised two legal challenges.
  • There has been media coverage of the story via -

Fisheries Observers Collective Agreement (CA) - Observers are not covered by the main PSA CA. We have started bargaining for a separate Agreement for them. We are still finalising the claims with members before they are put to MPI. (Aug)

Names on notices - Currently infringement notices require a Quarantine Officer to provide their name. The PSA has been advocating for a while that this is a health and safety risk for members (privacy) and has asked MPI to remove this requirement. MPI has agreed and is in the process of amending the notice. [Aug]

Phone allowance - MPI is proposing changes to the phone allowance. We don't know what they are yet except that some staff aren't getting it when they should and others may lose it. We also know that new phones are being rolled out, we have asked for the procedures and policies that will govern their use. This issue started in March 2018 and we have asking for information since. [Aug]

Regional Ports Officer COPS transition - Regional Ports Officers were transitioned to a lower, incorrect step following the end of bargaining 2017. There is a dispute with MPI who will not move them to the correct step. Our legal staff have written to MPI and provided information as requested (in June) and have heard nothing since. [Aug]

Retiring Leave - MPI has yet to still pay out the affected members and ex-employees. We have been chasing them on this since April. (Aug)

Queenstown overpayments - There has been a number of overpayments in Queenstown. As with most overpayments there has been significant impact on members in trying to understand what happening, and then negotiate with MPI about how to resolve it. (July)

Wellington Border roster – there is an ongoing disagreement between PSA and MPI regarding the paid meal breaks that should be given for working the 4 x 4 component of their roster. [Aug]

Work after Hours / On Call work - the Collective Agreement (CA) isn't clear about what happens if you have to work at home after hours. MPI is proposing that any work at home after hours is claimed in 15 minute blocks. We think this is ok and therefore members should be claiming for any work afterhours. MPI is yet to confirm this will be applied across the Ministry. (July)


click on the tab

PSA Compliance delegates and Compliance director Steph Rowe have put in place regular PSA delegates / Compliance management national meetings. These have proved to be productive, worthwhile meetings where we have discussed projects and issues. PSA values the opportunity to engage with senior management in this way.

Biosecurity Surveillance and Incursion Investigation teams have received increased annual allowances. This increase has come about because the PSA new collective agreement (2017) included an increase in the On Call Duty payments (clause 4.4). Thanks to the PSA members in BS&II who have supported the union by their membership, and enabled us to bargain improved terms and conditions.

The PSA had been concerned at roster changes at the Auckland IMC and non-consecutive RDOs for members. Rosters with consecutive RDOs are better for members’ well-being. In Feb the Mail Centre announced that consecutive days off would be maintained for members with extra resourcing being brought in to ensure this.

For health and safety reasons Quarantine Inspectors do not want to have inspectors names on infringement notices, and instead replace names with numbers. PSA members and delegates have been active for a long time in raising this issue. On 7 May MPI announced it has started a process to make the change, it should take 4 to 6 months.

In 2017 the PSA had a win against MPI in the Employment Court regarding payment of retiring leave. The finding of the Court was that for purposes of calculating retiring leave a “working day” should be paid as if the day had been worked.  This means that for workers normally working 11.5 hour shifts, payment should be made on the basis of 11.5 hour day, and if they are entitled to regular allowances on top of base pay, these must be included in the calculation also.