New Year’s resolution for National: A better deal for the public service

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While many New Zealand workers are counting down to the holiday season, the Public Service Association is paying tribute to its members who’ll keep essential services afloat over the break.

PSA members in customs, immigration, border and aviation security, hospitals and home care environments will tackle heavy workloads, despite some being involved in ongoing industrial disputes to get fair pay and conditions.

Corrections officers and emergency staff in mental health and Child Youth and Family will carry on their essential work.

“2015 has not been a great year for many of our members, who’ve carried on delivering essential services while stuck in difficult negotiations,” says PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay.

“Public services help to bind the country together – and yet our members continue to deliver more for less, under a staffing cap put in place more than 7 years ago.”

Last week, finance minister Bill English hinted the cap may be lifted next year, because the population’s increased substantially since it was set in 2008.

“The government’s now confirmed that achieving financial surpluses is no longer a major economic goal.

“It’s about time they invested in public sector and community workers, whose pay has lagged behind the private sector for the past 5 years.

“The PSA’s challenging the Prime Minister to make a New Year’s Resolution to do right by the public servants who make his government look good.

“John Key should resolve to put aside the Silly Season stunts and concentrate on the issues that matter:  lift the cap on public service staffing, and confirm he backs Equal Pay and a living wage for all New Zealanders.”