IRD and MBIE staff strike again

By Moana Makapelu Lee

4,000 IRD and MBIE workers nationwide are striking for the second time this month, demanding a fair pay system and a 'modest' across-the-board pay increase for staff.

A respectable wage for their work is what more than 200 Wellington IRD and MBIE workers were demanding today outside Wellington Railway Station.

Public Services Association national secretary Erin Polaczuk says, "They've been working in conditions where pay has not been increasing to the same extent as the private sector for many years now.  They work under unfair pay systems."

PSA delegate Walter Kupa says, "Over a quarter of our PSA members earn under $48,000.  That's the living wage, that’s bad."

Workers in 12 cities across New Zealand walked off the job from 1pm to 3pm on Monday afternoon.  PSA members have warned that more strikes could be on the cards for government if common ground is not found with workers.

Polaczuk says, "They don't want actually much more than the cost of living increase.  It's a modest across-the-board increase that is being sought here and yet the employer is just not willing to negotiate with us properly and people are angry about it."

Negotiations failed between government and the union last month after the union said they were offered an even worse deal, which included longer hours for the same salary.

"We're hoping that they'll sit down with us.  They'll have a review to offer and there will be more money on the table."

PSA await further negotiations.