How far removed from a ‘cloth-capped mob of union-stirrers and industrial saboteurs’ would the staff of the Department of Conservation be? These people would have to be among the most valued and generally respected public sector workers in the country. And now they are reduced to this.
DOC staff to take industrial action as Conservation Week begins
1500 Public Service Association (PSA) members working at the Department of Conservation (DOC) have overwhelmingly voted to take industrial action starting on Wednesday, the middle of New Zealand’s Conservation Week.
Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretary, said “It is time for DOC to start valuing the staff who fight every day to make 100% pure a reality.”
“DOC staff don’t take action lightly, but they are finding it increasingly hard to continue to do their jobs when their employer doesn’t value them.
“The offer from DOC management was rejected overwhelmingly with 95% of the vote against it.
(Hat tip to Scoop.)
This is a direct consequence of the way Al Morrisson disrupted the organisation with a spectacularly incompetent re-structuring and the on-going contempt this government has treated them with. I’m not pulling this statement out of my arse – friends of mine are insiders.
Yesterday I made this comment:
It’s estimated that about 200,000 New Zealanders will go tramping at least once a year, and a similar number of hunters and/or anglers. In my experience most are pretty down to earth people who put a high value on our Conservation Estate. And again I’ll make a punt – a large majority of these outdoors people would be more likely to vote left than otherwise.
And certainly the vast majority of these voters would like to see DoC better funded. Much better.
There you go Labour – a relatively clean up and down issue that will get you votes.
In support of this contention here is a thread on a popular site on the same topic:
Ok so it’s a very small sample – but I guarantee you – in my experience, also very representative. It’s long been my contention that the people who spend the most time in the Conservation Estate are the ones who value it the most – and are the ones most likely to act on that motivation. And into total there must be 500,000 odd people who will be paying attention to this. Here is a straightforward issue for Labour to make a stand on; that National have spent seven years neglecting and de-valuing the work of DoC and they will turn this around.
You can point to the legacy of Helen Clark even, whose leadership and example certainly didn’t see 95% of Department staff voting to strike.