Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for Food Price Index postponement

Tags:

The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014.

More than 430 Stats NZ staff, based all over the country, have been taking a range of industrial action since September 8, including restrictions on the provision of data by field interviewers, who collect information that official statistics are based on.

 

Basil Prestidge, PSA assistant secretary, said “This is only the first of what will be many delays if Stats NZ continues to refuse to make a fair offer,”

 

“Our members are proud of the work they do, but Stats NZ has given them no choice but to take this action.

 

“Without timely information the decision making functions of different government agencies are at risk.

 

“The lack of willingness by Stats NZ to agree to a clear, fair and negotiated pay system is to blame for delays in the release of data.

 

“PSA members at Stats NZ are used to dealing with complex data, but they don’t even have the information required to understand how their pay system works.

 

“We’ve offered various compromises, but Stats NZ are refusing to budge from their original position.

 

“The PSA is ready to go back to the bargaining table as soon as Stats NZ are prepared to discuss a clear, fair and negotiated pay system,” said Basil Prestidge.

 

DETAILS OF INDUSTRIAL ACTION

 

Office staff (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch)

 

  • Work-to-rule: this means a ban on overtime, and making sure to take all morning and afternoon tea breaks and a lunch break. Each centre has developed its protocols about giving effect to this ban. This from 8 September to 12 December 2014 inclusive.
  • Ban on engaging in performance assessment in any form (including verbal conversations, email, and paper-based templates) from 30 September to 12 December 2014 inclusive.
  • A ban on internal or external communications or engagements (i.e. travel, meetings, emails, same time, desk meetings, telephone calls, electronic messaging) outside of core hours 10.15 am to 2.00 pm from 29th October 2014 until 25th December 2014 inclusive. Call centre staff exempted from this.
  • The strike action is a ban on committing to any work deadline, from 29th October 2014 until 25 December 2014 inclusive.

Field Interviewers (Nationwide)

  • Field interviewer ban on marking HLFS cases as "Done", from 28 September to 12 December 2014 inclusive.
  • Withholding all Consumer Price Index (CPI) Data from 29th October 2014 until 25th December 2014 inclusive.
  • A ban on replicating until Sunday of each week from 29th October 2014 until 25th December 2014 inclusive.
  • Withholding all HES field test diaries and related paper work, and leaving field test cases as active/complete on their laptops from 29th October 2014 until 25th December 2014 inclusive.