Collectively.Thinking – August 2022

Aug 31, 2022

August has been quite the month.  In an attempt to try and group all the activity that has been going on, I have broken it into a couple of different categories – current bargaining, current strikes and the lockout.  Then there are the June quarter labour market statistics that were released early in August, confirming what we all know already and I’ve also included a podcast on change to round out the month.

Summarised here, with links provided, so you can catch up on August activities in one hit.

1.  Current Bargaining

  • Wellington Free Ambulance have offered FIRST Union members a 1.5% increase, which the union is referring to as an “effective pay cut”
  • The Auckland Council and the PSA have reached an agreement that includes a 9% pay increase for members over the next 12 months.
  • Asahi and E tū members have settled an agreement for two years, that includes backpay and a sign on bonus of $400.
  • Collective agreements expired at all eight of New Zealand’s universities at similar times, and the Tertiary Education Union said it has begun negotiations at all except Canterbury. They are seeking an 8% increase for members.
  • Employees who are PSA members at Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman councils are joining together to negotiate a new employment agreement.

2. Current Strikes

  • NZPFU members at FENZ took the unprecedented step of two by one-hour full withdrawals of labour in August. The parties have now entered a period of facilitated mediation and have suspended industrial action until the end of September.
  • E tū engineers working for Airbus are taking industrial action that includes no travel to other work sites, no shift work and no overtime, and are seeking an increase in line with inflation.
  • E tū members at Visy Board and Charta Packaging are taking strike action seeking a 10% pay increase.
  • Unite Union members at SkyCity Auckland walked off the job and picketed in front of the casino calling for the employer to pay the Living Wage.
  • FIRST Union fuel tanker drivers at SouthFuels Limited have issued strike notice seeking parity on overtime rates with others in the industry.

3. The Kawerau Lockout

About 145 Essity employees were locked out at the beginning of August from the Kawerau toilet paper factory. The company has offered a 3% increase plus a cash incentive of $1500 per year over three years.  The Pulp & Paper Union is seeking an increase in line with inflation.  By the end of the month, the union now says that the company has threated 67 employees and the union with more than $500,000 in damages.

4. Labour Market Statistics

From the June labour market statistics release, the following indicators are the most noteworthy –

  • Labour Cost Index is 3.4% for the year to June 2022
  • Average ordinary time hourly earnings increased 6.4% in the year to June 2022
  • Underutilisation rate is 9.2% for the June quarter
  • Labour force participation rate is 70.8% for the June quarter 

5. How to Change Your Workplace

Organisational Psychologist Adam Grant overlays his perspective with a couple of other expert perspectives and discusses the best way to overcome resistance and get buy in for new ideas and organisational change.

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