Collectively.Thinking – September 2023

Sep 30, 2023

Oh wow!  I can’t believe that I wrote the last of these back in March!  I’m endeavouring to catch up but starting from September and working backwards.  It’s been a busy time for me in the bargaining space, so unfortunately things like this have been parked. 

We’re now one week out from the national election, and unions have been upping the ante in anticipation of this over the past couple of months.

Here are the noteworthy events from September, summarised with links included for your light reading.

1.  Senior doctors strike

Senior doctors who are members of ASMS have walked off the job three times in September, seeking pay increases in line with CPI.  Te Whatu Ora has offered senior doctors and dentists salary increases over the next year of between 7 per cent and 12.9 per cent. Further action scheduled later in the month was postponed, but another notice for 24 October remains in place.

2.  PSA Corrections workers reject offer

PSA members working in prisons across the country, have rejected the offer for settlement asking for “a more realistic movement on pay rates”. 

3. Midwives pay equity offer

Around 1,700 Te Whatu Ora employed midwives and maternity care assistants are voting on a pay equity offer that would see the starting salary for a midwife increase to $76,235 from 1 April 2022, a lump sum payment of up to $15,000 and a top rate of $153,060.

4. Telehealth strike

NZNO & PSA members employed by Whakarongorau Aotearoa New Zealand Telehealth Services took strike action for 24 hours over their collective agreement negotiations.  The employer sought an injunction and was successful in stopping action for some key employee groups.

5. The Warehouse social media strike

FIRST union members at The Warehouse are continuing their social media strike, which is a ban on observing the non-communication clause in their agreements and taking to social media to voice their concerns.

6. ‘Bankflation’

The latest campaign from FIRST Union has been labelled ‘Bankflation’ and comes with supporting documentation that makes for really interesting reading.  This campaign calls out the big four banks on a cumulative 80% profit increase in the last decade.  Their solution to this is – industry banking (either as a MECA or FPA), increased competition, regulation of margins and windfall taxes & levies.

7.  Election policies relating to employment

The Spinoff has helpfully summarised all political parties’ policies across the full range of topics.  From my perspective, the main parties don’t really have anything ground-breaking on their list in the industrial relations space and it’s the minor parties where the policies would be more controversial.  We will wait and see what coalition negotiations turn up.

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