Collectively.Thinking – April 2022

Apr 30, 2022

Three short weeks in a row lead to a reduction in activity, so less to report on than usual.  However, there were a couple of significant announcements – the announcement of the 2022 Living Wage, Allied Health strike, DHB nurses pay equity settlement and the removal of the temporary Covid changes to bargaining.  While the last item, most people won’t have even noticed, it does indicate more and more the move back to BAU.

As always, everything you need to know in this space has been summarised for your reading pleasure.

1.  April Collective Bargaining Activity

  • E tū members at Goodman Fielder’s Ernest Adams site have prepared their claims for bargaining, including a 13% wage claim.
  • Pacific Media Network has introduced 12 days per year menstrual leave as part of their collective with E tū.
  • Accor hotels has agreed to continue paying the Living Wage after MIQ contracts end.
  • Kiwifruit workers at Seeka and members of FIRST union are looking to retain the ‘seasonal allowance’ even when borders reopen.

2. Allied Health DHB employees to take action

10,000 Allied Health PSA members at DHBs across the country have voted to take industrial action in May.  The action consists of a two-week work to rule and a full withdrawal of labour on 16 May.  The agreement expired 31 October 2020.  They also have a pay equity claim which is yet to be considered.

3. Living Wage – $23.65 from 1 September 2022

The Living Wage is set to increase from $22.10 to $23.65 on 1 September 2022, a 7% increase on the rate from 2021.  There are 300 accredited employers across the country.

4. Pay equity for DHB nurses

After backlash from the NZNO members about the lack of back-pay in the pay equity offer, the union cancelled the initially scheduled ratification meetings and sought further guidance from members about next steps – whether to go to ratification or to the ERA.  This offer is just for DHB nurses, which is going to put other organisations who employee nurses in a difficult position, as their nurses are not covered.

5. Who is a contractor?

The report released from a Government working party has suggested a number of reforms to fix the definition of a contractor. 

Among the recommendations are the following –

  • Any court decision should look at the whole entity rather than just the individual who has raised the issue.
  • Have regulators make a decision on employment status, rather than waiting for someone to file legal action.
  • A rewrite of the definition of ‘employee’

6. Temporary collective bargaining changes will be removed

Modifications made to the Employment Relations Act around bargaining during Covid have now been removed, effective 6 May 2022.  Unions that are in the ratification process, can choose whether to continue with the alternative process or return to the original process.

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