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Pay deal struck by PSA and IRD after strikes

Public Service Association members and the Inland Revenue Department have ended months of pay negotiations with union members voting to ratify a new deal.

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By Sophie Boot (BusinessDesk), 10 September

PSA members working at IRD went on strike three times this year over pay rates and systems – on 9 and 23 July, and 1 August. The union today said in the new collective employment agreement, which will last 14 months, that IRD has “agreed to move on pay and pay systems, although it did not meet the PSA members’ request for an across-the-board percentage pay increase to reflect the increasing cost of living.”

The union said it will seek to address outstanding issues when the next round of bargaining begins in mid-2019. It will canvass members early next year to establish what their members want to avoid protracted bargaining.

National secretary Erin Polaczuk said many IRD union members are still not well paid, and rely on the benefits they administer to make ends meet for their families.

“One in every four PSA members at IRD is paid less than $48,000 a year, and we think they deserve better than this,” she said. “We are very pleased at this good outcome for them – and we look forward to the next round of bargaining.”

Naomi Ferguson, commissioner of Inland Revenue, said the new collective agreement was great and acknowledged the hard work of both the PSA and Inland Revenue bargaining teams.

“We started this process in October 2017 and while it has been challenging at times, everyone involved in the negotiations has remained committed to getting to an agreed outcome,” Ferguson said.

“I want to thank everyone for their patience and professionalism through the process of reaching this agreement.”