The news that the nurses have settled is small comfort to the public given that a number of other sectors and industries are experiencing the effects of an uncertain industrial relations climate, National’s spokesperson for Workplace Relations and Safety Scott Simpson says.
“This is just the first chapter in a risky and uncertain industrial relations saga. After an extremely disruptive strike and the threat of further industrial action from 30,000 nurses pay negotiations have been finalised – but the industrial unrest is by no means over.
“Bus drivers, port workers, meat workers, Government staff and teachers are just a few of the industries that are still involved in potential industrial action. That’s more than 50,000 workers who are considering their options to pursue costly strikes.
“This situation is entirely of the Governments own making. The Labour-led Government has billions of dollars to spend but they chose to prioritise fees free and Shane Jones’ slush fund. It also promised much more than it could deliver prior to the election and since it came into office.
“The Government has not only completely lost control of industrial relations in this country but it is further contributing to the mess it has made.
“Ending the starting out wage, removing 90 day trials for businesses with more than 20 staff, legislating consecutive unsustainable leaps in the minimum wage, reducing flexibility and encouraging 70s style standardised wages bargaining will all contribute to an unsettled industrial climate.
“The Government needs to get its act together and ensure that the escalation in industrial action since it came into office does not continue. New Zealanders deserve a Government that prioritises stable industrial relations.”