Commissioner of Inland Revenue Naomi Ferguson is calling for a resumption of talks with the union that represents about half the agency’s staff.
“IR has made it clear to the PSA that we are willing to return to the table and we are committed to doing this in the near future. As such, we are actively seeking to find a path forward that will allow us to meet while respecting each other’s position.”
IR earlier this week decided to cancel a two-day leaders’ conference in Auckland because it coincided with a four-hour strike action by PSA members at IR today.
The conference was to be held on July 31 and August 1, and would have involved about 110 leaders.
Ms Ferguson says it was disappointing that plans had to be changed at such a late stage, but it was a completely sensible and logical decision.
“It was essential that our leaders were on-site working with their teams during the stoppage to minimise any disruption to services, and ensure staff were fully supported to prioritise critical work.”
The conference was scheduled well before the PSA decided to issue notice for the strike action only last Friday. “This is obviously a difficult time for many IR staff and we know that neither side wanted to get to the point of industrial action,” Ms Ferguson says.
The PSA represents about half the workforce at Inland Revenue, although fewer than 1800 members have participated in previous industrial action.
The department has successfully concluded bargaining with the two other unions that represent staff at IR, covering more than 1000 people.