PSA members’ commitment may break IR strike deadlock

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Around 3000 Inland Revenue Department (IR) staff walked off the job in a half-day strike today, showing commitment which may have broken the deadlock between IR and PSA members.

Striking workers downed tools for four hours around the country, holding rallies, doing volunteer work at food banks and community groups, and baking cakes for Women’s Refuge.

"At Inland Revenue’s Upper Hutt office, we had nearly 200 members walk out - only six members were left in the office," PSA National Organiser Cheryl Reynolds says.

"We’re heartened at the strong spirit among our members, who are taking a big hit in the wallet today.

"They’re standing up for a fair deal from their employer, and we’re standing with them."

PSA Assistant National Secretary Basil Prestidge says there are encouraging signs that IR may be ready to return to the table to discuss pay and pay systems.

"The PSA has always been keen to resume bargaining, but up to now IR has refused to discuss two issues that are very important to our members: a fair pay system and a modest across-the-board pay increase to reflect the growing cost of living," he says.

"Our members are not asking for a government handout - because they know IR can afford to do this from within existing baselines.

"We are heartened by IR’s positivity in its statements today, and we hope this indicates they are ready to talk on these points."