Police intervene during strike action at Whangarei District Court

The PSA is calling into question use of Police officers to act in place of Court Security Officers at Whangarei District Court today during a legitimate strike action by PSA members.

"We believe our picket line was crossed by the Police today and that there was a failure to provide adequate court security. This cannot be allowed to happen again," says Glenn Barclay, PSA national secretary.

"After the action taken by our members between 10.30am and 12.30pm today they found their places in the court room had been occupied by Police officers. Further to that we have received information that the search station for providing court security was inadequately staffed.

"The PSA has initial legal advice that the use of Police in this way is unlawful and had yet to receive a satisfactory explanation from the Ministry of Justice for the decision to put the courts at risk in this way.

"During one-hour lightning strikes by Court Security Officers in south Auckland and Christchurch last week the prudent course of action taken was to close courts and to end sessions for the duration of the strike," says Glenn Barclay.

"Court Security Officers work hard to keep the system working in a trained capacity that only they can perform.

"The additional action Ministry of Justice workers are taking has not been taken lightly and is purely focused on the accelerating the process of reaching a meaningful settlement on pay and equal pay.

"The way forward is for the Ministry to listen to its workers and to work with the PSA to find a resolution through industrial bargaining".