Work is less fair from tomorrow

Published: Thu 31 Mar 2011 04:42 PM
Work is less fair from tomorrow
New laws that allow employers to sack any worker in their first 90 days in a job, without any reason and without the right of appeal, and limit union access to worksites come into force tomorrow. The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) and Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota (SFWU) urge employers to follow the example of aged care providers Oceania, BUPA and Metlifecare who will not use the new provisions.
NZNO Industrial adviser, Rob Haultain says an important reason these three employers have agreed to maintain existing rights is because they are run by practical people who understand and accept the role unions play in the employment relationship.
“These three employers value the relationship they have with unions and they recognise the value of recruiting and training good staff and keeping staff turnover to a minimum. Employers who have good recruitment practices in place do not need the 90 day fire-at-will law,” Haultain says.
“Unions and the employers have developed protocols about access to workplaces. Unions are scrupulous about respecting the privacy of rest-home residents when we are on these work sites. These employers know we act responsibly when meeting members so do not see the need to exclude unions from workplaces,” she said.
SFWU strategic industry lead, Alastair Duncan believes that if unions and employers can agree to proper union access in a complex environment like residential aged care there is no reason why other employers would exclude unions from their workplaces.
“We certainly hope and expect other employers in the health sector will apply the same thinking as Oceania, BUPA and Metlifecare and we look forward to achieving positive outcomes across the sector,” Duncan says.

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