Collectively.Thinking – February 2023

Feb 28, 2023

The effects on the labour market of the significant weather events across the North Island will still remain to be seen.  It’s very difficult to get an accurate steer right now while still in clean up mode.  Localised employment will be a challenge for many, and the produce lost will have a lasting effect over the next couple of years – at least!

As the education facilities have come back online for the new year, the issues from unresolved collectives at the end of 2022 have come back to the forefront.

Summarised with links included for your light reading.

1.  February Industrial Relations Activity

  • Primary teachers and principals are voting on their updated pay offers from the Government, a $4000 salary adjustment in December 2022, a further $2000 or 3% adjustment in December 2023 (whichever is higher), and two one-off payments.
  • Nelson disability support workers held a two-hour stop work meeting out of frustration for the pay offer from Te Whatu Ora.
  • Secondary teachers have voted for strike action after rejecting the government’s December pay offer. Thursday 16th March is the date set for a full withdrawal of labour.
  • After the summer break, strikes are set to restart at the University of Auckland in the first academic week of the year, with a one day full withdrawal of labour.

2. Bargaining initiated for Uber

Following the landmark court case that determined that Uber drivers were in fact employees, and not individual contractors, bargaining has now been initiated by FIRST Union for their first ever collective agreement.

3. Calendar Girls campaign

Nineteen dancers working for Calendar Girls in Wellington were told not to come back to work after asking for better terms in their new 2023 contracts.  The dancers have now formed a group called the Fired Up Stilettos and are seeking improved industry standards and protections as independent contractors. 

4. Pay Equity for School Librarians and Science Techs

The offer for settlement, negotiated by NZEI, includes pay increases of up to 40% for school librarians and science technicians.  If accepted, this pay equity settlement will cover more than 1,200 librarians and library assistants and approximately 400 science technicians in schools across the country.

5. Unemployment slightly higher at 3.4%

The labour market is still remaining strong, with unemployment still at record lows, contrasted with the Labour Cost Index rising to 4.3% for the year to December.

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