Collectively.Thinking – March 2024

Mar 31, 2024

As we’re getting into the swing of 2024, you can see that there has been a marked increase in industrial relations activity across the country and some legal changes on the way.

The Coalition Government has recently released it plan for the next quarter, and while there is nothing in there that will have a direct impact on employment, there are plenty of points that could have an indirect impact.  Watch this space!

As always, here are the noteworthy events from March, summarised with links included for your light reading.

1.  Rotorua InfraCore workers take action

Seventy-five AWUNZ and FIRST union members from Rotorua council-controlled organisation InfraCore were to stop work for eight days in a bid to end eight months of pay negotiations.  The types of work done by this group includes parks maintenance, including cemeteries and burials, and water services.

2.  Police to vote on new offer

Negotiations between Police union and employer commenced before the change in Government and have been ongoing for over a year.  The latest offer doesn’t increase the base pay from 4%, but the start date was moved from September to July 2023.  If this offer is turned down, the bargaining will go to final offer arbitration, as withdrawing labour isn’t an option for Police.  There had been earlier rumours of other protest types of action.

3. Uber back in court

A protest gathered outside the Court of Appeal as Uber began it’s appeal against the Employment Court verdict in 2022, where FIRST and E tū unions sought to establish that the drivers were employees and not contractors.

4.  Call centre strike at One NZ

Unite members at One NZ are taking ongoing industrial action in support of their collective bargaining.  A key demand is the ongoing ability to work from home.  Other claims raised include a 10% wage claim, extension of coverage, improved long service leave, and evening & weekend rates.

5.  Unite organises major hospitality employer

Unite has started the process towards a new collective agreement with Star Hospitality – a Heineken-owned hospitality group, with over 50 premises across the North Island.

6.  Upcoming changes to employment legislation

In a speech with the Auckland Business Chamber, Workplace Relations Minister Brooke van Velden has revealed her priorities for her portfolio this term, including making changes to our Holiday Act and reform on health and safety law and regulations.

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