The Government has indicated there is merit in exploring a proposal from the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions to explore a public sector wide pay adjustment.
The proposal would cover workers employed across the public sector including nurses, doctors, teachers, public servants, and health workers.
The proposal was made on behalf of unions affiliated to the CTU in the public sector. It would enable those unions to together negotiate a consistent sector-wide pay rise, subject to union members voting to support this approach.
CTU President Richard Wagstaff said the initiative could be more effective for members across a series of separate negotiations.
“We believe this proposal will help all working people in the public sector and allow them to focus on the issues that matter.”
“Right now, we are simply exploring the opportunity with affiliated unions, but we are a long way from an agreement. Any potential agreement would be considered by members on a Collective Agreement by Collective Agreement basis and each union will go through their own process to be a part of this.”
Wagstaff said a “Public Sector Pay Adjustment would enable individual unions and employers to concentrate on issues other than pay in their own negotiations”.
“There are many wider issues that union members are concerned with beyond pay, such as workloads, sustainable staffing, health and safety and wellbeing. Having pay settled will provide more time and attention on other pressing issues”.
Note: If supported by affiliates, the CTU will compose a negotiating team and enter negotiations as soon as possible. Any proposal for a Public Sector Pay Adjustment (PSPA) would be taken to members to consider and accept or reject, on a Collective Agreement by Collective Agreement basis. A public sector pay agreement could be an agreement on pay change across the public sector.