Public servants don’t want to serve the public

This is the government that is bringing kindness back. It is also the government that is beholden to the unions. We saw very few strikes under the previous government but, now that Labour is back in control, the unions have an expectation that their needs will be met and their needs are very expensive indeed.

RNZ  reports: quote.

Ongoing strike action throughout the country’s courts may result in a miscarriage of justice, says the Chief District Court Judge.

Industrial action has disrupted court proceedings for months as the Ministry of Justice negotiates a new contract with the Public Service Association (PSA).

More than 2000 PSA members have voted to walk off the job amid work-to-rule action as negotiations with the ministry have reached a stalemate.

Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue said the industrial action had caused significant disruption to the justice system and she had concerns for its wider implications.

Judge Doogue – who sits independently of the ministry and its employees – said hearings, including bail applications, were being delayed as a result of limited court hours. end quote.

Well, I am not surprised. This has been going on for a while now. It is not as if the court system exactly moves quickly. Months go by before a court hearing is approved. quote.

“We want to avoid people being held in custody for undue periods of time; that is a breach of their natural rights. We want people to be able to appear and have their bail applications heard as soon as possible; for them not to do so is a breach of their human rights.”

Judge Doogue said victims and their families were also finding themselves stuck in the system.

“We want participants to be able to come and tell their stories and have their trials when their trials have been scheduled for some time. For them not to do so, there may very well be a miscarriage of justice arising out of undue delay.” end quote.

Yes. How awful. These things drag on and on as it is and then, suddenly, they are dragged on even longer because the union might be able to get more money out of the Labour government. quote.

“Lawyers are generally sympathetic to the court staff, who they see as not being particularly well-paid for positions that have a great deal of responsibility. However, the concerns that they have is with people appearing before the court.”

He said the industrial dispute was impeding defendants’ rights and wreaking havoc in an already-busy justice system.

“You have about six hours of hearing time in a day and the industrial action has reduced that to something like two and a half hours. So basically for each day that the strike goes on we have half a day of extra work further down the track. It is a situation that’s very concerning.”

Last Wednesday, union workers walked off the job for a half-day strike, closing 19 courthouses from Gore to Kaitaia. end quote.

Which is pretty much the whole country… right?

This is horrible for those people caught up in the court system; but it is not only them, of course. We have seen strikes by nurses, teachers (both primary, and now secondary teachers), bus drivers, Pacific Steel workers, clinical perfusionists… and now apparently paramedics are set to strike too.

Since the GFC a lot of people have not had much in the way of pay rises; but inflation has also been very low. Housing inflation has been massive of course, but that is not measured in the general inflation figures. Nevertheless, everyone lives under the same conditions.  Workers in the private sector are not striking, and are getting on with their jobs as best as they can, hopefully negotiating better pay rates for themselves as they deserve.

It is a different story in the public sector. Public servants seem reluctant to do their job, which is to serve the public. The public that pays their wages, that is.

 


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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