INDEPENDENT NEWS

Next step for Fair Pay Agreements

Published: Thu 31 Jan 2019 09:45 AM
MEDIA RELEASE
31 January 2019
E tū, the largest private sector trade union in New Zealand, is pleased with the recommendations of the Fair Pay Agreement working group, released today.
The report includes strong arguments for the need to change the system to be fairer for workers. It explains how similar industry-wide bargaining systems have been crucial for lifting living standards around the world.
The recommendations are comprehensive and include a detailed design of a Fair Pay Agreement system.
E tū security guard Wayne Richdale says it’s high time for fairness across the security industry.
“I’ve worked in security on just above the minimum wage. It’s tough,” Wayne says.
“Now that I’m on the Living Wage, thanks to our campaign at Wellington City Council, getting by is a lot easier. I wish that all of my colleagues in the security industry were afforded the same respect.”
However, Wayne says it’s not just about decent pay.
“Pay is just one of many issues in the security industry. A decent Fair Pay Agreement could give security guards job security, sort out health and safety issues, ensure decent training and education opportunities, and a whole lot more.
“A lot of the bigger firms try to do things pretty well. It’s the pirates out there that undercut everyone else to get contracts – that’s what’s driving down pay and conditions and that’s what Fair Pay Agreements will address.”
E tū’s Assistant National Secretary John Ryall, who is on the Working Group, says many industries could benefit from a Fair Pay Agreement.
“Security is one of a number of industries where workers are crying out for fair, minimum standards,” John says.
“Many workers, particularly those employed by contractors, are affected by the ‘race to the bottom’ in their industries. This is why workers such as cleaners have been stuck on or just above minimum wage for far too long.
“The recommendations released today are just one step in the process – our union is very eager to see the Government take action on Fair Pay Agreements as soon as possible.
“I’m pleased to have played my part in the process and I’m confident that workers’ voices have been well represented in the process so far.”
ENDS
E tu
E tū: the new union for New Zealanders
E tū has been created by the merger of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Service and Food Workers' Union.
E tū represents more than 50,000 working New Zealanders in industries as diverse as aviation, construction, journalism, food manufacturing, mining and cleaning.
By standing together in a union workers get higher wages and better conditions. As the country's largest private sector union E tū can provide members with workplace representation, legal advice, a freephone support centre, work rights education and broad representation through E tū's campaigning and research work.
We campaign hard for workers' rights, health and safety, a living wage for all Kiwis, and recognising high-value skilled work.
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