Public servants vote overwhelmingly for strike action


More than 4000 PSA members at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Inland Revenue will take industrial action next month, after an overwhelming vote to strike.

Members at both agencies will take part in two 2-hour stoppages on 9 July and 23 July.

"Our members are very reluctant to take this step, but they feel they have no choice - and the level of support in the vote shows the level of frustration," PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says.

"MBIE is the agency which advises New Zealand businesses on how to conduct their industrial relations, and we expect better of them.

"Spending millions on contractors while denying our members a cost of living pay increase is poor practice, and it’s not in the spirit of the new Government’s expectations for the public sector."

PSA members at Inland Revenue have not taken industrial action in 22 years, and PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says this shows they are at the end of their tether.

"Our members take their jobs very seriously and they’re trying desperately to keep the system on track while IR presses ahead with its Business Transformation project which will see 1 in 3 staff let go by 2021.

"To give just one example - IR’s system is unable to process the Best Start tax credit, which should give lower income families an extra $60 a week for each child.

"It starts on 1 July, and members are told they will have to process this manually, drastically increasing their workload.

"To have all this happening while the employer refuses to consider a modest across-the-board pay increase is deeply upsetting to our members."

Strike notices are being issued to both employers.

"We hope MBIE and IR will take the level of support for this action very seriously, and come back to the negotiating table ready to listen," Mr Barclay says.