15 Feb 2007

Niue PSA urges caution as spending cuts planned

4:43 pm on 15 February 2007

Niue's Public Service Association says the government should reconsider community development projects before cutting the hours of public servants in its effort to contain a budget blowout.

The PSA is opposed to the government's plans to cut workers' hours by 20 percent and is angry at the lack of consultation over the matter.

A PSA spokesperson, Amanda Heka, says the financial crisis is largely the fault of the government but the workers are expected to bear the impact.

"We oppose in the sense that we were never consulted and because there are some savings within the budget that we have identified as members to address our problems. And is this partially New Zealand's fault as well, because over the years, New Zealand has said yes to some of our proposals to New Zealand because we have had these financial problems for a couple of years now."

Amanda Heka says regulations bar public servants from taking industrial action, but they might still strike if there are no other options.

Meanwhile three PSA members who hold senior government positions have been told by the government they must quit the union executive.