- Date published:
11:59 am, July 1st, 2009 - 55 comments
Categories: activism, democracy under attack, democratic participation, national/act government, public services, sexism, workers' rights - Tags:
I am outraged to learn that the Department of Labour told its employees they were not allowed attend the pay equity rally at Parliament yesterday.
A leaked email from the department to its staff said:
“Attendance at such a demonstration may well be perceived as crossing the line by criticising a decision of the Government. The attendance of Departmental staff at the rally in whatever capacity, may therefore call into question our role as public servants serving the Government of the day.”
That is absolutely disgraceful and a clear breach of the Bill of Rights and the manager who approved it should resign. Unfortunately, it is a result of a public service management that is afraid of the new Government. The Nats have attacked an undermined public service neutrality from the start (‘purchase advisors’, interfering in independent bodies like Pharmac).
Let’s get this straight: this is a democracy. You have the right to protest. That is guaranteed under the Bill of Rights Act. If you want to protest you bloody well should and you shouldn’t ask permission.
But be smart about it to0. Join the union. Then the bosses won’t dare come after you. And if they do, your co-workers will be behind you to help you stand up for your rights.