Court staff who are striking in an effort to make the Ministry of Justice enter new pay negotiations with higher salary offers are putting a ban on travelling.

The ban began at 4pm yesterday and means Public Service Association (PSA) members will no longer drive to other courts for work.

PSA members went on strike at 12.30pm yesterday, holding placards and protesting about their pay for about 20 minutes before going home.

The strike put a halt to some sentencings set down for the Whanganui District Court and followed a lightning strike held on Tuesday.

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Court staff will stop travelling to towns such as Marton, Ohakune and Taihape as PSA members announced a ban at their latest strike for action. Photo / Jesse King
Court staff will stop travelling to towns such as Marton, Ohakune and Taihape as PSA members announced a ban at their latest strike for action. Photo / Jesse King

Court victim adviser and PSA delegate Raama Brownlie said the travel ban would cause an even bigger disruption.

"Locally, that's going to affect Marton, Taihape and Ohakune," Brownlie said.

"We've got Ohakune court sitting tomorrow, but because no security will be going there, the judge won't want to sit and everything that's planned will have to be adjourned."

PSA members have been striking for seven weeks and were unhappy with a ministry offer of 3 per cent wage increases per annum starting next year.

"That's not across the board. It's all subjective. Some of it's based on performance and there are other positions that have been grandparented," Brownlie said.

"What's really frustrating is that the ministry have given their annual report to Government and in that report they've provided statistics on how well the staff are meeting their goals."

Roles such as court victim adviser and court security officer had been highlighted in that report.

"Yet the victim advisers role, they want to devalue that salary and with the court security officers, they're not prepared to acknowledge their role," Brownlie said.

"They won't lift them up to what we consider the next band and give them the increase that they deserve."

The action in Whanganui is timely for court security officers as their worth was on show when they were required to break up a brawl between gang members yesterday.

Brownlie has seen similar events several times during her time with the ministry and said it could be a very frightening experience for members of staff.

"We're looking out for each other. Everybody's safety and wellbeing is a priority, but the ministry staff, they've been taken for granted for a long time.

"We've had some really poor offers from the ministry over the years that have been accepted begrudgingly and the staff have always thought that they would look after us.

"But then they go and do this and offer us less. It's like a real slap in the face."