Collectively.Thinking – May 2022

May 31, 2022

Wow!  May has been a bit nuts when I look at this summary.  There have been a few things bubbling away over a sustained period of time, and enough going on in the health sector to get it’s own segment below.  FIRST Union’s new Big Fix campaign is gaining some traction too.  To round out this update, I’ve also included a recent report from the ILO for interest’s sake.

As always, everything you need to know in this space has been summarised for your reading pleasure.

1.  General Collective Bargaining Activities

  • E tū & FIRST members at ZeaGold have taken action as part of their bargaining process.
  • FIRST Union members at Allied Concrete are also taking action.
  • NZPFU members of FENZ have overwhelmingly voted down the company offer and voted to take industrial action. The main issue coming through the articles is staffing levels.

2. Healthcare Industrial Relations Activities

  • Care and support workers represented by E tū, PSA and NZNO are in discussions for new pay rates following their historic Pay Equity settlement in 2017.
  • DHB nurses have decided not to vote on the offer presented last month and have decided to take their pay equity claim to the ERA instead.
  • Senior Doctors with Association of Salaried Medical Specialists are also getting the mutters about their bargaining round, feeling like they’ve been left behind with the formation of the new Health NZ.
  • Health Administrators across the DHBs have reached agreement on a pay equity settlement that means up to $20,000 per year for some employees.
  • DHB Allied Health have had a big month, starting with a work to rule, moving into a full withdrawal of labour for 24 hours and then receiving an offer to be recommended to members.

3. FIRST Union Big Fix Campaign

The latest campaign from FIRST Union is making for interesting reading via their social media channels.  I always look to consider the mitigating factors as well as reading between the lines when settlements are summarised like this.

4. Labour Market Statistics

In the March 2022 quarter, the:

  • unemployment rate remained at 3.2 percent
  • underutilisation rate was 9.3 percent, annual change -2.8%
  • employment rate fell to 68.6 percent, annual change +1.5%
  • average ordinary time hourly earnings rose to $36.18, up from $35.61 in the previous quarter, annual change +4.8%.

In the year to the March 2022 quarter, compared with the same quarter last year:

  •  wage rates increased 3.0 percent
  • filled jobs increased 4.2 percent.

5. International Labor Organisation report

The ILO have released their latest Social Dialogue Report titled “Collective Bargaining for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery” that looks at the role collective bargaining has played in the Covid-19 pandemic.  It is a LONG report, but the 10 page Executive Summary is worth a glance if you have time.

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