That’s right. Gerry Brownlee’s getting his knickers into a twist because the Public Service Association (PSA), one of the unions that represents public servants, has had the outrageous gall to point out that National plans to cut the numbers of public servants. Hmm, I’m not sure that repeating a National party policy is a hangable offence, but clearly I’m not au fait with National’s levels of righteous indignation.
The reason unions are opposed to National’s industrial relations policy is that it’s anti-union. Brownlee is trying to conflate what the PSA says publicly and what its individual members, as individual public servants, say publicly. Of course it wouldn’t be appropriate for policy advisors in, say, the Ministry of Transport or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to tell the Dominion Post that National’s policies would be a disaster for our transport systems and our international reputation. However, it is a union’s job, especially in an election year, to evaluate different parties’ policies with respect its members.
The PSA’s comments are nothing special: the nurses’ union comments on different parties’ health policies, and the CTU has published a brochure on different parties’ industrial relations policies. And if Mr Brownlee doesn’t like that, perhaps he should change his party’s anti-union policies.