Another month has been and gone. This month there was less activity than August to report on, but a couple of high-profile actions in there. Essity and the Pulp & Paper Workers Union have settled their lockout, and the firefighters, while still ongoing, have agreed to stay out of the media until the end of September. Those of us who are slightly cynical can see a link between stories 3 & 4 on the list below too.
Summarised here, with links provided, so you can catch up on September activities in one sitting.
1. Current Bargaining
- Essity’s Kawerau factory employees returned to work after being locked out. The union says the settlement keeps people ahead of inflation.
- FIRST members at CV Compton in Auckland have settled on an 8% increase following their withdrawal of labour.
2. Current Industrial Action
- People from three different packaging companies have joined together to take action, seeking to lower the threshold for overtime rates and to increase wages in line with CPI.
- Cleaners, housekeepers and security guards are among the employees taking action at SkyCity for Living Wage or inflation-based increases.
- Airbus engineers who are members of E tū have continued strike action in pursuit of an increase in line with CPI.
- University staff, who are bargaining separately across the country, have voted to take strike action together seeking an 8% increase.
3. Another increase for Auckland bus drivers
Following the 8% increase in July, another increase for drivers of up to 3.9% has been approved. Bus drivers will now earn an average wage of $26.62 per hour, after Auckland Transport has had additional funding approved by Waka Kotahi.
4. “Safe Rates” Campaign
FIRST Union’s newest campaign has launched following a WorkSafe report on work-related fatalities involving vehicles. In 2021, truck crashes caused 73 fatal injuries, 166 serious injuries and 670 minor injuries. Fatigue was a factor in at least 10%. This campaign centres around increasing driver rates to reduce fatigue and accidents.
5. Living Wage 2022
The 2022 Living Wage took effect on 1 September 2022, a 90c increase to $23.65 per hour, equivalent to 3.95%. The rate of $23.65 is 68% of the average hourly earnings in New Zealand, which were $34.76 an hour for the year to June 2021.