Stats NZ staff escalate industrial action with ‘no more meetings’ rule

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Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been taking industrial action since September 8.

More than 430 staff, based all over the country, have decided on a range of new industrial action including a refusal of any internal or external communications or engagements before 10am or after 2pm each day. The move, which would ban everything including emails, meetings or phone calls outside of this four hour window, is expected to have a significant impact on Stats NZ’s work.

 

Basil Prestidge, PSA assistant secretary, said “The refusal to engage with other Government agencies outside of core hours could have a sizable impact,”

 

“Field interviewers withholding the data that much Government and business policy is based on will also have a big effect.

 

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

 

“Our members are passionate about their work, but they are sick of Stats NZ not valuing the jobs that they do properly.

 

“PSA members at Stats NZ have already taken two full days of strike action, alongside a range of other activity.

 

“The convoluted workings of the system mean that staff are locked into training pay grades, unable to progress to a fair salary.

 

“Statistics NZ needs to come back with some real pay movement and a commitment to 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.