Collectively.Thinking – January 2024

Jan 31, 2024

How are we in February already?

2024 is already shaping up to be exciting in the industrial relations space, with plenty of contributing, but contradictory, indicators out there in the market.  All of this plays a part in how our people and their unions view life.

With people taking longer (and well-deserved!) holidays in January, the IR activity was lighter.  Here are the noteworthy events, summarised with links included for your light reading.

1.  One NZ protest action

Unite members at One NZ worked remotely for a fortnight in protest at the telco’s work from home policy.  The company’s asked all contact centre employees to come into the office for at least three days per week.

2.  South Port

The proposed full withdrawal of labour at South Port in Bluff, was called off the day before it was due to commence.  A group of about 70 members of MUNZ were to take action for three days from the end of January.  The previous offer that had been turned down by members was said to be a 6% guaranteed general wage increase, plus other skillset rate adjustments which made the offer equivalent to an 8.2% wage increase, with backpay to September 2023, on top of a 7% general wage increase in 2023.

3.  E tū takes major cleaning companies to the ERA

E tū has filed an application for their cleaning MECA to be fixed by the Employment Relations Authority.  Bargaining started with the ten employers in February 2023.  There has been some action taken mid-last year, but the union says no pay increases have been offered.

4.  Athletes’ union has significant landmark employment case

The Employment Relations Authority released a determination ruling in favour of The Athletes’ Cooperative.  The key point of interest to those of us in the Industrial Relations space is the line “for the purposes of initiating collective bargaining … [it is not] a requirement that the union seeking to initiate bargaining have members that are, at the time of initiation, employees of the proposed employer party“.

5.  NZ economic outlook 2024

At a time where the news headlines are flooded with predictions for 2024, including my own IR predictions which will come next week, here is an excellent and straightforward summary of those that matter.

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