New conversations about wages needed in New Zealand
Council of Trade Unions President Richard Wagstaff today called on the Government and industry leaders to open up
conversations about new ways of deciding on wages that work better for working people. The release of the Labour Market
Statistics September quarter data by Statistics New Zealand this morning shows that wages would have fallen further
behind the cost of living were it not for the union, government and employer agreed equal pay settlement in aged care.
"The current system for determining pay is stuck on a setting which might deliver for Chief Executives and shareholders
but not for the average working person in New Zealand. The evidence has shown us that our system of individual
bargaining, casualised work and under-employment all drives down the return working people get on the effort they put
in" he said.
"It’s exciting for us to see that the hard-earned money delivered to aged care caregivers boosted overall wage growth,
which would otherwise have fallen even further behind living costs. This is proof that having open conversations and
better negotiation about what jobs are really worth to society as a whole works. It’s time to move away from the old
mind set of employers setting wages unilaterally."
"Industry wide agreements and better access to collective bargaining will supercharge wage growth to catch up to rising
living costs. The new Government has indicated that implementing new, broader wage setting mechanisms is a priority for
their first term. Unions are ready for more holistic conversations about wages for working people that gives them a fair
go at determining what their jobs are worth."