Collectively.Thinking – July 2022

Jul 31, 2022

Here we are having finished off July.  Mid-winter holidays and illness may have dampened some of the activity, but we still heard from timber workers, radiation therapists, bus drivers and a victory declared by Unite Union.  Care and support workers have now lodged their new pay equity claim, Uber is ongoing and a CPI that is the highest in 30+ years!

As always, everything you need to know in this space has been summarised for your reading pleasure and links provided for more information.

1.  July Industrial Relations Activities

  • Early childhood teachers from a private education group have approached their employer to initiate bargaining for a Greenfields agreement.
  • FENZ & NZPFU have engaged a third party to assist with their ongoing negotiations, with industrial action ongoing.
  • Radiation therapists, trained to deliver radiation oncology treatment, have given notice to Te Whatu Ora of a nationwide strike on 8 August. Bargaining has been ongoing since February.
  • E tū and FIRST union members at South Pine in Nelson have taken industrial action saying the company’s current 6.25% offer “isn’t good enough.”
  • Anaesthic technicians from Te Whatu Ora have been taking partial strike action since 21 July and completed a full 24-hour strike on 28 July. Apex is claiming that their offer is less than the PSA settlement from earlier in the year.
  • Auckland Council has funded an immediate 8% increase for all Auckland bus drivers across all nine bus operators, to be backdated to 1 July.
  • Unite Union has declared victory in their campaign to achieve the Living Wage as the minimum standard in hotels.

2. Pay Equity claim lodged for support workers

The group of employees who sought the original pay equity claim have lodged a new claim the day after their previous settlement expired.  Over the period of their settlement, minimum wage and CPI have both increased substantially and now care and support workers are seeking a new agreement from the Government.  While the case is heard, they have been given a 3% pay increase for 18 months.  Unions are calling on the Government to fast track the process.

3. The Uber case

The FIRST Union and E tū court case considering whether Uber drivers are actually employees instead of contractors is still ongoing.  Alongside this, there is also a tripartite working group looking at the definitions of contractors versus employees.  The outcome of both of these will have much wider significance than is currently being considered.

4. June quarter CPI

All eyes and discussions are on the June quarter CPI this month, and especially it’s comparison to wage increases. At 7.3% it’s the highest annualised CPI figure since 1990.  This increase is largely lead by rents and construction costs, followed closely by increases to transport costs.

6. The 4 deadly sins of work culture

Having read the recent media commentary on organisational culture at Zuru, FENZ and even GirlGuiding NZ – an organisation close to my heart – I can’t help but reflect on this podcast from Adam Grant, organisational psychologist.  In this podcast, he talks about how to recognise poor organisational culture from the outside and strengthen it from the inside. The four sins he identifies are – toxicity, mediocracy, bureaucracy and anarchy.  Too much of any or all of them is problematic, and the challenge is how to maintain healthy balance.

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