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New Zealand fisheries officers' strike continues by Michael Neilson September 13,2017   |  Source: Gisborne Herald

Tairawhiti fisheries officers have entered their 12th day of a strike from field duties, as part of a nationwide pay dispute with their employer, the Ministry of Primary Industries.

Officers across the country are striking from regular field duties due to what they say is a lack of recognition over working “unsociable hours”.

Secretary of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) Janice Gemmell said in recent bargaining the Ministry of Primary Industries confirmed its position there would be no extra payment for weekend work.

In new contracts MPI compliance staff received a base pay increase, but fisheries officers lost their weekend loading.

The officers were expected to work up to 20 percent of the time at weekends.

“So it is essentially a good contract for those who don’t have to work weekends, but not for the officers who are expected to work weekends,” Ms Gemmell said.

An offer of time-and-a-half pay for weekend work would probably be seen as sufficient. From September 1 those striking have only been doing office work.

MPI said areas left vacant by the officers were being covered by Honorary Fisheries Officers.

However, an East Coast NUPE delegate said that was not the case here.

“Normally Honorary Fisheries Officers can cover for


© gisborneherald.co.nz

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