MBIE: Pay deal 'fair, reasonable'

  • 20/10/2015
MBIE: Pay deal 'fair, reasonable'

The controversy-plagued Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment has defended its "fair and reasonable" 2 percent pay rise offering rejected by staff.

More than 1000 workers have voted to take industrial action on November 5 and November 23, with two-hour stop-work strikes planned.

Their union, the Public Service Association, says MBIE is refusing to offer any pay increases and management continue to contribute to poor workplace culture.

"These people help keep to set the standard for all New Zealand workers, but face unfair bosses who won't take them seriously in their own workplace," national secretary Erin Polaczuk said.

Union members did not take lightly the decision to strike but did so "overwhelmingly", she said.

But MBIE's general manager human resources Kate Wareham said it had offered a two percent pay increase which was "fair, reasonable and sustainable", and was greater than current inflation levels.

It had been offered to all members performing at or above their role requirements.

"Managers would also have the opportunity to recommend additional increases, in addition to the minimum guaranteed two percent," Ms Wareham said.

Disruptions to MBIE services during strike times would be minimal.

Labour's economic development spokesman David Clark says it's "humiliating" for the ministry that handles labour relations to be accused of having a poor workplace culture.

"It is also rank hypocrisy that a ministry which last year gifted huge salary increases to senior management now refuses any pay rise for rank and file staff," he said.

MBIE was in the firing line earlier this year over a number of questionable spending decisions.

It spent $140,000 on an information screen for the reception area of its Wellington headquarters and $70,000 for a sign outside the building.

The ministry was also criticised for installing hair straighteners in changing rooms.