Collectively.Thinking – February 2022

Feb 28, 2022

Well February kicked off with a bang!  We’re staring down the barrel of some crazy industrial relations activity this year – like a perfect storm.  I don’t normally plug myself in this newsletter but do reach out if you want to talk about what is likely to affect you and your organisation this year.  Blah blah blah unprecedented times blah blah blah et cetera.

As always, the key points are summarised below.

1.  February Industrial Relations Activity

  • Vet nurses to unionise for the first time.
  • Industrial action at Skycity Hamilton is still ongoing in their quest for parity with the Auckland site.
  • FIRST Union members at CHEP have been taking ongoing industrial action since early February seeking the living wage. Unrelated, but still interesting, on the other side of the world, employees at CHEP UK have been taking action since December.
  • South Island breast cancer screening mammographers take further 24-hour stoppages seeking parity with DHBs.
  • Winstone Aggregates’ Flat Top quarry union members take 48-hour strike.
  • APEX Medical Physicists have escalated their industrial action to a full withdrawal of labour as they lose talent overseas.
  • Auckland One Rail members of RMTU have taken a strike ballot.
  • 10,000 Allied Health workers, covering 70 DHB roles, to strike on Fridays 4th & 18th March after 15 months of negotiations.
  • Secondary teachers are preparing for bargaining in May/June with claims meetings kicking off around the country.
  • PSA members at Corrections have rejected the latest offer.

2. Strikes on the cards while inflation is hot

** If you read nothing else from Collectively.Thinking this month, at least read this!  

This article from Newsroom has some really interesting union commentary on all the action around the country in the past three months, since the first significant CPI figure was released.  Yes, there is some union positioning as part of it, but it does give insight into where their thinking sits currently and what needs to be considering when preparing for bargaining this year.

3. Minimum Wage 2022

Well, I definitely wasn’t expecting this level of increase, so will eat my hat on that one for anyone who I have made bets with.  In case you’ve been under a rock for the past month, the minimum wage is increasing 6% to $21.20 on 1 April 2022

4.  RBNZ Monetary Policy Statement February 2022

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has released their Monetary Policy Statement for February.  It’s an update that I refer to regularly when preparing for bargaining, mostly for their forward projections.  Key indicators to note –

  • CPI to hit the heights of 6.6% in March 2022, and
  • Labour Cost Index to rise to 3.7% for March 2023. 

Just skip through to page 54 for the summary table if you’re not interested in their commentary.

5. How to understand a trillion

This podcast from The Indicator from Planet Money talks about how to frame significant and key numbers so the general population can understand them.  While they’re talking about Covid stats in this episode, there is cross-over into how we present information as company representatives to our employees and the union.  I did listen to it twice because there are some excellent take-aways from this when you listen with your IR hat on.

Stay up to date with the latest IR news, trends and insights – Collectively.Thinking