More disruption on the cards at NZTA as PSA members vote on action

There could be more disruption ahead at the New Zealand Transport Agency with an unprecedented vote by Public Service Association members to take industrial action over their stalled employment negotiations.

Members of the Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union, who work at NZTA’s call centre in Palmerston North, walked off the job for several hours yesterday.


The PSA represents about 300 NZTA staff from offices around the country and says NZTA is refusing to negotiate pay as part of collective agreement negotiations.


“Negotiating pay is a fundamental part of collective bargaining and it is astounding that NZTA is stubbornly refusing to talk about it,” says PSA Assistant Secretary Jeff Osborne.


“Instead it wants to continue using a performance pay system which is essentially broken.  Many union members have little confidence in it saying it is neither fair nor transparent.”


“Under the current system a number of our members get no pay rise at all, while for others it can feel like a lottery.”


Jeff Osborne says “it’s not logical and what makes the system even harder to swallow is that it clearly doesn’t apply to NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield who is one of the top five highest paid public service heads on a salary of $600,000.”


“This is the first time ever our members at NZTA have voted in favour of industrial action and it’s a clear reflection of the frustration they are feeling.”


“We have put a number of compromises on the table but NZTA is still refusing to move.”


“The dispute is now going to urgent mediation as our members have made it clear that they want to make every reasonable effort to try and get a fair deal before pressing on with any action,” he says.