Strike Information - your rights
PSA members at IR and MBIE will hold two-hour strikes on Monday 9 July and Monday 23 July. We've put together a list of frequently asked questions that set out what will happen and what your rights are.
Why are we going on strike?
More than 4000 public service workers are poised to take industrial action, with MBIE and IR planning to take co-ordinated action. It’s the first time this has happened in the public service in many years, and it’s an indication of how frustrated our members are with the collective bargaining at both agencies. Strike action is always a last resort and it is a difficult step to take, but if we stand together we can get our employers to practice what they preach.
Who can go on strike?
All PSA members who are covered by the bargaining can take part in the industrial action and it is lawful for them to do so. If you are unsure, contact your delegate.
Encourage each other
If members work during industrial action, this would undermine the strike and the efforts of those who do take part. Encourage your fellow members to take part.
Who is expected to go on strike?
Everyone (including team leaders) who is covered by the collective bargaining is expected to abide by the democratic decision of members and to take part in the strike action.
If you do not take part, you will minimise the impact of the strike. This is not in the spirit of the collective action. This includes using flexi time or leave to avoid taking part, or taking your lunch break over the industrial action period.
We urge you to come along to events in your area during the strike. You do not have to attend events but the more people involved in the union rallies, the more impact your action will have.
Your rights during the strike
Will I lose pay?
If you are expected to work during the strike and you do not work, your employer may choose to deduct pay from your salary. Because the strike action you will be taking is a total withdrawal of labour, your pay can only be deducted for the amount of time you are on strike.
If you are on approved annual leave, or you work part time and the strike is at a time when you would not work, you should not have your pay deducted.
What will happen on the day?
There will be actions organised at various work sites, and the PSA will keep you informed. We would encourage you to join in, because the more people who visibly take part, the stronger the message we’ll send.
Can I take leave or use flexi-time for strike action?
Taking a holiday or using flexible working to avoid strike action diminishes its effectiveness. Visible protest action ensures that an effective message will be sent to your employer.
Do I need to tell my manager I am taking action?
No, there is no obligation to inform your manager you intend to take strike action. The PSA will inform your employer in advance.
Can I be disciplined?
No. Your participation in the strike action is lawful and your employer cannot discipline you or discriminate against you in any way for taking part. Your right to strike without discrimination is protected by law.
Will someone else do my job?
Unless it’s critical to health and safety, this should not happen. Non-striking workers can be asked to do your job, but not compelled to do it.
What should I do if my employer approaches me to ask me not to strike, or encourages me to leave the union?
This is not allowed and you should immediately contact your PSA delegate.