Public sector unions are having a field day at the moment seeking cost of living and pay parity across a variety of sectors. Two other key activities happened in October too – the Fair Pay Act was passed into law and Uber drivers won employment rights. It will very much be ‘watch this space’ on both of those fronts!
Summarised here with links included for your light reading.
1. Unions’ highlight best pay deals for 2022
Stuff asked some of the highest-profile unions for their most noteworthy settlements to date for 2022. NZEI flagged two pay equity settlements, the CTU is happy with the settlement in Kawerau with Essity and the Screen Industry Workers’ Bill, FIRST Union has highlighted their settlement at Countdown, and E tū has indicated the settlement at Southpine in Nelson.
2. Fair Pay Act passed into law
This could be one of the biggest changes to employment legislation in recent history. All the lawyers are champing at the bit to sink their teeth into this one. I’ve scoured the commentary to find the best, clearest and most comprehensive summaries around, and have landed on this article from Russell McVeagh. Reach out to me if you’d like to have a chat about how this could work in practice.
3. Uber drivers win employment rights
The case was first filed in July 2021 and heard in the Employment Court this year. FIRST Union and E tū were representing four drivers seeking a declaration that they are actually employees, and not contractors. This decision will have far-reaching ramifications into a variety of different industries and roles.
4. Public Sector Bargaining
- Further strike action took place at universities across the country seeking increases in line with cost of living.
- PSA members at Oranga Tamariki are taking action over workloads and wages.
- Primary and early-childhood teachers and principals are preparing for meetings to determine whether they will take action in support of their bargaining.
- NZNO Primary Health Care nurses, working in medical centres and after hours emergency clinics, are striking for parity with Health NZ Te Whatu Ora nurses.
- PPTA has rejected an offer from the Ministry of Education to settle an agreement for adult and community education employees.
- PSA members at Rotorua Lakes Council are protesting in support of their Living Wage claim and changes to the remuneration system.
- Secondary teachers are planning union meetings to decide on the next steps in their bargaining with the Ministry of Education.
- Four more one-hour work stoppages will be taken in November by FENZ fire fighters. The parties participated in facilitated bargaining and a recommendation for settlement has been shared, and can be read here in full.
- Canterbury public bus drivers to receive increase following discussions with Waka Kotahi.
5. Private Sector Bargaining
- FIRST Union members at SGS in Ruakaka, New Plymouth, Napier and Tauranga took a full withdrawal of labour seeking cost of living increases.
- NZNO Nurses at Evolution Healthcare in Wellington and Hawkes Bay have been bargaining for 15 months and took a 24 hour strike seeking inflation based increases and parity with Te Whatu Ora nurses.