TIASA News

Kia ora te reo Maori

11th September 2017

Tēnei te mihi maioha atu kia koutou katoa i runga i ngā āhuatanga o te wā.

Māori Language Week is set to kick off today Monday 11 September, with "Kia ora te reo Māori" as this year's theme which not only picks up our national greeting but means literally, ‘Let the Māori Language live’.

Māori Language Week is about raising awareness that while there is reason to still be concerned about the long-term future of the language it is still spoken and sung by many hundreds of thousands of people; 130,000 have conversational fluency, 300,000 are learning at school and 10,000 in tertiary education. And new research points to the language being picked up by children in the home once more in places where this had died out in the 1970s.

It has been 42 years since the initiation of this week. In previous years, the week was celebrated during August however this year the idea came about to move it to September, in the month that the Māori Language Petition arrived to Parliament.

There are a lot of ways to begin your journey to learn te reo Māori, as an individual, a whānau, a group, as a community or as a workplace. Te wiki o te reo Māori provides an opportunity to celebrate and learn te reo Māori, helping to secure its future as a living, dynamic, and rich language.

In honour of Māori Language Week, Māori Television have released new gifs to be used on social media platforms like Facebook, with some popular Māori catch phrases.

Check out the Māori Television channel on Giphy.com for more information.

Suggested Resource Links: Check these out

www.tetaurawhiri.govt.nz/events-and-promotions/maori-language-week/

https://kupu.maori.nz/kupu-o-te-wiki-2017

http://maoridictionary.co.nz

www.tokureo.maori.nz/index.cfm/1,186,0,43,html(external link)

https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/489977634444122151/

https://nzhistory.govt.nz/culture/maori-language-week/365-maori-words


Economy not meeting the needs of working people – where is the Governments strategy?

15th June 2017

Figures out today from Statistics New Zealand showing our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are proof that the economy is not working as it needs to nor is it performing as Treasury had predicted.

“Just three weeks ago Treasury forecast in the Budget that GDP would increase by 1.1 percent in the three months to March, not the 0.5 percent that GDP that actually happened. Even worse, GDP is falling after accounting for our growing population. This is simply not good enough. Working people need fairer incomes. Where is the strategy from Government to ensure better wage increases?” CTU President Richard Wagstaff asked.

GDP per capita fell in both the last two quarters. The CTU estimates that productivity (GDP per hour worked) fell 1.3 percent in the last year compared to the year before.

“These figures show that the economy isn’t working as it should. None of this is good for working people and their future wages and incomes.”

“The Government should stop trying to plug the income gaps by tax reductions which rob us of quality public services like health, housing and education that working people need. It is time to fix our wages system so working people get a fair share of the income that their work produces.”

“If the Government doesn’t show some real leadership on this issue, working people will have gone through a whole economic cycle without seeing the rise in their standards of living which they deserve,” Wagstaff said.


The Budget; a missed opportunity to make NZ a more equal place

25th May 2017

Today’s Budget, the ninth this Government has prepared does not make our country a more equal society.

“A successful budget moves New Zealand towards being a more equal society – it is an opportunity to make New Zealand a better place,” said CTU President Richard Wagstaff.

“This Budget lacks ambition, it lacks leadership and most importantly it lacks a vision and commitment to making life better for all Kiwis.”

“It restored only a little more than half the value of Working for Families that has been stripped from it by National Governments since 2010. People will pay for the tax cuts in deteriorating public services, while people on higher incomes get more in dollar terms than those who most need it. We estimate the Health budget is $300 million short of the funding it needs to cover rising costs, strong population growth, the aging population and the new commitments the Government has made.”

“There is no new investment in building houses. There were misleading announcements of new capital spending which are just moving land from one part of government to another.”

“Most schools’ operational grants will be worse off in real terms, with the increase in their operations grants less than the rising costs Treasury forecasts.”

“This Budget could have done so much. This should have been the Budget that restored the value of Working for Families, took our health system off life support, rebuilt and refurbished our state housing and ensured first home buyers could find affordable homes, allocated funding to settle significant equal pay claims, plugged the gaps in education funding, addressed poverty, showed ambition in research and development funding, restarted contributions to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and much more,” Wagstaff said.


A sad loss

23rd May 2017

It is with deep sadness that TIASA learned of Tangi Tipene’s death after a brief illness (Tangi was also known to many as Sharon Stevens). Tangi was the last national president of ASTE prior to its merger with AUS to form the TEU, and TIASA had many involvements with Tangi over several years. Tangi, who had taught business administration at what was Waiariki Institute of Technology prior to her election as ASTE president, was a vibrant personality with a wicked sense of humour. She was well known to many within and outside of TIASA and had been involved with the NZCTU Runanga. Our deepest sympathies go out to her husband Jake, children Jade and Oman, and to her mokopuna. Kia kaha ki te whānau o Tangi katoa. To matou tapa'o aroha ki a koutou katoa. Rest in peace our sister.


Working people support Greens announcement of more paid sick leave

22nd May 2017

Working people are welcoming today’s announcement from the Green Party that they will increase the legal minimum entitlement of paid sick leave from five days per year to ten.

Today’s announcement was part of a package of initiatives released in their ‘Budget for All Mothers’ policy. CTU Secretary, Sam Huggard welcomes the policy, “This is a great announcement. More sick leave is something that lots of working people need, especially those with caring responsibilities for other members of their families.”

“According to the State Services Commission, most working people are using a minimum of eight days of sick leave annually. So for those working people on the legal minimum of five days they are either needing to take unpaid leave or annual leave.”

“An increase to ten days would also bring New Zealand up to the same level as our Australian neighbours.”

“It’s great to see the Green’s commitment to making life better for working New Zealanders in these tangible and specific ways,” Huggard said.


Industry standards: a solution to improving wages

3rd May 2017

Figures out today from Statistics New Zealand show that wages in the private sector are falling behind the cost of living and that urgent action from Government is needed. The average hourly wage grew by only 1.5 percent, well behind inflation of 2.2 percent over the year.

“Kiwis need wages to be increasing. At the moment they are not – which means improvements in economic conditions are not being shared with the very people who generate the improvements,” said CTU President, Richard Wagstaff.

“At present, people are keeping up with living costs by working harder rather than from decent increases in their wage rates. More couples with children are both working and many people are working longer hours."

“Having Industry standards allows for the terms and conditions of employment, of working people within specific industries, to be negotiated together. This is a method by which wages would be increased and real improvements in the lives of working people would be made.”

“The Government talks about the importance of lifting wages, creating a better, brighter future for working people. Supporting working people in union to negotiate industry standards is a specific and tangible way to achieve increased wages,” Wagstaff said.


Celebrating International Workers Day (May Day) and TIASA Day

1st May 2017

The 1st of May (May Day) is acknowledged globally as International Workers Day and is commemorated in many different ways.

May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and is unofficially celebrated in many more.

It is widely recognised that May Day had its origins in the mid to late 1800’s as working people struggled to gain an 8-hour working day and safer working conditions. It was quite common for people to work 16 hour days and, death and injury were commonplace at many work places.

On 1st May 1886, more than 300,000 workers walked off their jobs to celebrate May Day and to demand an 8 hour working day.

The struggle continues

For many, globally, the struggle for safety at work continues in 2017.

Here in New Zealand, thousands of people are injured and dozens killed every year. Kiwi workers are killed at a higher rate than those in Australia or the UK. Worksafe are currently running Home Time TV and internet advertisements built around the vision that everyone who goes to work, comes home healthy and safe. It has taken the Pike River tragedy; Royal Commission recommendations; countless Forestry and Building industry work deaths; and many years of campaigning by NZ’s Union movement for the Government to formally recognise there is a problem.

It is appropriate on this day to note and applaud the tremendous work done by the late Helen Kelly (former Council of Trade Unions (CTU) President) on her fight for justice for those who had lost their lives at work and, to fight for all workers regardless of the industry or size of the work place.

Celebrating TIASA’s achievements

1st May is also a day to celebrate our achievements and for TIASA, they are many. The strength and unity of TIASA members ensure that the conditions of employment that have been fought for over our 48 year history remain and are built on. Some of these, for example Easter Tuesday and the days between Christmas and New Year, are often taken for granted or, workers assume that they have been gifted by their employer. The strength and unity of TIASA is all that prevents these hard won gains from being temporary in nature. “Easter Tuesday” has been targeted for removal (without success to date) by many tertiary sector employers during bargaining in recent years. Our collective agreement settlements are the best in the tertiary sector and are testament to the fact that a single, “specialist voice” for Allied Staff, is essential, and pays.

Celebrate International Workers Day and TIASA Day and remember “We are big enough to matter and small enough to care”. We are TIASA, the Specialist Voice for Allied Staff.


Workers Memorial Day – too many Kiwis are being killed at work

28th April 2017

In the last two weeks seven New Zealanders went to work and never came home. They were killed at work. This Workers Memorial Day, April 28th, we remember them and other working people who were killed at work.

“We must do better. All Kiwis should be confident that when they leave home they’ll be able to return home alive and well,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“No one should ever have to sacrifice their life for their livelihood.”

“New health and safety law has been in place for over a year now. It is deeply concerning that we still haven’t seen a significant improvement in the numbers of people being killed and seriously harmed at work.”

“Last year just over 24,000* people had to be away from work for more than a week due to injuries they sustained at work. We can change this. It is possible for working people to be safe at work. Employers have a responsibility to show leadership and listen to those around them. Research shows that the best people to identify workplace hazards are the people doing the work – but their voices have to heard,” Wagstaff said.

* From page 2: http://www.worksafe.govt.nz/worksafe/about/publications/documents/worksafe-nz-2016-17-q2-report.pdf

ENDS


Prices of necessities rising

20th April 2017

“Not only is the 1 percent overall rise in prices this quarter larger than expected, but it is concentrated mainly in necessities that hit the budgets of low and middle income households hardest,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg, responding to today’s CPI release.

“Whether you look at the increase in the three months to the end of March or the whole year, it was housing, petrol, food and tobacco tax that made up most of the increase. The first three are at the heart of people’s budgets and cannot be avoided.

“Most of the falls in prices came from international air transport and package holidays which largely benefit higher income households.”

“People will be anxious to see their wages and salaries rise to at least recoup the 2.2 percent rise for the year,” Rosenberg says. “The labour cost index rose only 1.6 percent in the year to December and the average wage only 1.3 percent.

“But almost half (45 percent) of wage and salary earners didn’t get a pay rise over that year – and 55 percent of those who didn’t have a collective employment agreement.”

“With inflation back around 2 percent there will be increased pressure for employment laws that ensure working people get a fairer share of the income they create through their work,” says Rosenberg.

ENDS


Historic day as caregivers offered equal pay settlement

18th April 2017

Unions representing care and support workers are pleased to be jointly announcing with government a proposed equal pay settlement to 55,000 workers across the aged residential, disability and home support sectors.

The proposed settlement is a huge win and will make a real difference in valuing the work of care and support workers and the people they support, workers in the sector say. It is a significant step in addressing gender inequality in New Zealand.

The offer lifts care and support workers’ pay to between $19.00 and $23.50 from 1 July, rising to between $21.50 and $27.00 in July 2021.

It comes after 20 months of negotiations established by government to settle caregiver and E tū member Kristine Bartlett’s landmark equal pay case, lodged in 2012, which went all the way to the Supreme Court with the courts finding gender bias was the cause of Kristine’s low wages.

Kristine says “It will give us dignity and pride and make our lives worthwhile, knowing we’re being paid what we are actually worth. After years of struggling on low wages, hopefully we’re going to have a bit left over to actually enjoy life.”

Tens of thousands of care and support workers will now vote on the proposed settlement in coming weeks.

E tū Assistant National Secretary, John Ryall says the offer once ratified will mean a “once in a lifetime pay rise which will end poverty wages for this mainly female workforce and set them on the path to a better life. We’re delighted today’s proposed settlement recognises the justice of Kristine’s case and the wonderful work of Kristine and other professional carers.”

New Zealand Nurses Organisation Industrial Services Manager Cee Payne says that “This equal settlement delivers pay rates that truly reflect the skills and importance of the work that care and support workers undertake every day. Decent pay rates and the right to achieve qualifications will grow and retain skilled workers to care for our elderly. This will build public confidence that high quality care will be delivered to our families’ loved ones in our rest homes and hospitals.”

PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says: “This settlement will make a real difference to our members. Our members in home support and disability support play a vital role in empowering people to live independent lives in their own communities. This settlement recognises the value of the work they do – and the people they support.”

Unions say the government is to be commended for agreeing to negotiate this settlement offer, rather than waiting for years before the legal process was finally exhausted.

Ends.

For further comment:

E tū Assistant National Secretary John Ryall on 027 520 1380

New Zealand Nurses Organisation Industrial Services Manager Cee Payne on 027 229 5500

PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk on 021 793 075

Care and support workers are available for interview on request. They can be contacted via:

Karen Gregory-Hunt, E tū communications, 022 269 1170

Karen Coltman, NZNO communications, 027 431 2617

Jessica Williams, PSA communications, 027 600 5498

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the proposed settlement?

• This proposed settlement has been negotiated by government and unions over the past 20 months.

• The proposal features a 5-year set of pay increases linked to experience and qualifications.

• It will apply to approximately 55,000 working people in residential aged care, disability support services and home support services.

• From 1 July 2017, existing staff would be paid between $19.00 and $23.50 an hour. Currently these workers earn an average of just over $16.00 an hour, with many on the minimum wage.

• By July 2021, there would be an entry level pay rate of $21.50 an hour with a top rate of $27.00.

• The proposed settlement is worth just over $2 billion over five years.

How did we get here?

In 2012, aged care worker and E tū[1] member Kristine Bartlett brought an Equal Pay Act case against her employer, Terranova Homes. She argued she had spent 20 years on very low pay because aged care is largely performed by women. Kristine Bartlett’s case went all the way to the Supreme Court – with Courts agreeing with her that she had been underpaid because of gender discrimination.

The case was referred to the Employment Court to set a fair rate for Kristine. Before this happened, the government intervened, asking E tū, the NZNO, the PSA and the CTU to instead work on a negotiated settlement with them to avoid further court action, and extend coverage of the negotiations to include all care and support workers in aged care, disability and home support. The outcome of those talks is today’s proposed settlement.

Today’s historic moment comes after decades of activism in support of equal pay for work of equal value from women’s organisations, community groups and unions, and follows campaigns to raise the profile of the undervalued work that care workers do, such as the Human Rights Commission's Caring Counts report the E tū and NZNO Fair Share for Aged Care campaign, the PSA and E tū Up Where We Belong campaign raising the status of disability support work, and the PSA and E tū campaign Time to Care for home support workers.

What happens now?

Hundreds of workplace meetings will get underway in the coming weeks for workers in the sector to hear the results of the negotiations and vote on whether to accept the offer. It’s important that all care and support workers attend these meetings to have a say. If it is endorsed, the rates of pay will come in to effect on 1 July this year.

How does this relate to other equal pay cases?

Each case is different and treated on its own circumstances. A separate process to these negotiations for care and support workers has taken place, called the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles. The group, made up of union, business and government negotiators, came up with principles to guide equal pay negotiations. See: http://www.ssc.govt.nz/pay-equity-working-group.


Otago Polytechnic TIASA members unanimously ratify ‘historic’ settlement

11th April 2017

Bargaining for the renewal of the OP/TIASA Allied (General) Staff Collective agreement has resulted in a settlement that provides for salary increases of 1.7% and 1.8% over the two year term and, provides, as of right, the non-stat days between Christmas and New Years as additional paid leave.

“While TIASA members have been receiving the “non-stat” days for more than a decade, these have had to be negotiated as a one-off entitlement each time the parties met in bargaining over that period” said TIASA Chief Executive, Peter Joseph. “That had become extremely frustrating for our members and they are delighted to finally have this leave recognised as a permanent entitlement”.

TIASA members at Otago Polytechnic have voted unanimously to ratify the settlement proposal.


Tertiary education must be a public good for all Kiwis

21st March 2017

Today’s report from the Productivity Commission - New models of tertiary education clearly outlines that the changes the National-led government have made to tertiary education have done more harm than good.

CTU Secretary Sam Huggard is concerned. “Beneath the rhetoric of student choice the report on is an agenda for more profit driven providers in the tertiary education sector. An ‘Uber’ approach to education. Though disguised in the language of student choice, its mechanisms mean less transparency and public accountability of tax payer dollars.”

“This is an outdated approach and a return to the thinking of the 1990s. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. We still see the results of that approach with recent failures of private tertiary institutions whose sole interest is about making a profit from vulnerable students and employees.”

“The recommendations in this Report are so far-reaching, and that there are concerns from many quarters, there needs to be a very careful watch on what happens to this findings in this report. If not we’ll see the implementation of these recommendations without support or agreement and with the potential for significant harm.”

“Education is a public good for all Kiwis, ensuring we have good jobs and living standards, a capable economy and a strong and informed civil society,” Huggard said.


TIASA Members ratify EIT settlement that delivers Salary Increases ranging from 1.5% to 3.35%

10th March 2017

TIASA members at Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) have voted overwhelmingly to ratify the proposed terms of settlement for their collective agreement. The settlement sees Allied staff salaries increasing by 1.5% with a minimum dollar increase of $1,000 in the first year and, by 1.6% with a minimum dollar increase of $1,000 in the second year.

“Many of our settlements over the last few years have targeted lifting the salary rates at the lower end of the scale” said TIASA Chief Executive and Advocate, Peter Joseph. “An across-the-board percentage increase would have further destroyed the dollar relativities”.

“This settlement, with a minimum dollar increase of $1,000 means that our EIT members receive increases ranging from 1.5% to 3.35%” said Joseph. “We are very pleased with the bargaining outcome”.


Working people delighted with unanimous support for domestic abuse survivors

9th March 2017

Working people congratulate Green MP Jan Logie on successfully getting her proposed law, which will make a real difference to the lives of people who are experiencing domestic violence, over the first hurdle.

CTU Secretary Sam Huggard is delighted that the proposed law received unanimous support last night in Parliament for its first reading, “this is a hugely positive first step. There is much work to be done to ensure that MPs continue to support this really important law change.”

“What this law change does is provide 10 days of paid leave in any calendar year which could be used for medical appointments, legal proceedings and other activities related to family violence. Already provision for paid leave exists in some collective agreements, but for working people without access to collective organisation in union, there needs to be a minimum legal right also.”

“What Jan’s proposed law change does is make life a bit easier for those going through an extremely difficult time. As a nation we are growing in our commitment to addressing and reducing our appalling rates of domestic violence. This law change is part of the solution,” Huggard said.


Celebrating International Women’s Day

8th March 2017

Be Bold for Change!! This theme for the 2017 International Women’s Day (8th March) could not be more timely. Despite the best efforts of so many courageous, principled and determined women, and good, supportive men, over many centuries, our 21st century world today still has significant and unjustifiable gaps between the economic and social status, roles, opportunities, options, and potential for women compared to men. This is just as destructive for men too.

We may pride ourselves that NZ is at least ‘not as bad’ as some other nations. But we certainly are not as good as the best either and we have a very long way yet to go. Some key measurements tell us just how badly we have slipped back, from a once-upon-a-time world leader in working towards true equality for women, to a country that today lags shamefully behind. For example, despite statutory requirements - some of which have existed for over three decades - last year the gap between NZ women’s and men’s wages actually increased. It has been slowly widening since 2012 and now stands at 12%. Only 13% of our topmost 125 companies have a women director on their Boards, a figure the Institute of Directors describes as ‘shocking’. None of our largest companies have a woman CEO. And despite nearly 58% of NZ women holding an undergraduate or higher degree, only 19% of top executives are women. And these gaps worsen for Maori women and those from other ethnicities. This is just not good enough. It is wasteful, bigoted and plain stupid to continue this senseless discrimination against women that relegates us to secondary status in every area of life. Experts calculate the economic gain alone from closing the gender gap at 10% of NZ’s GDP. That is, we stand to gain at least $17.35 billion (US) extra by removing the needless and unethical bias that, consciously or otherwise, currently exists.

Throughout our existence as a union, TIASA has struggled mightily and continues to struggle for equality for our women members, everywhere. Our sector still models the same inequities and gaps that exist elsewhere, yet we should be exemplars of absolute best practice role models for our students – the potential leaders of the future, the majority of whom are, ironically, often women! This will not change by ignoring the unpalatable truths of gender based bias, or being quiet and patiently hoping that somehow things will improve. The evidence shows they will not and in fact are worsening to the point where it will take another 100 years if we don’t do anything now to eliminate gender-based discrimination. All of us – women and men alike - can’t wait that long and nor should we have to. It’s time for change. It’s time for boldness. Recent events have shown the world what can happen if people join together to support positive change, and this change is long overdue and will shape the future for us and all those who come after. I commend to you the International Women’s’ day website at https://www.internationalwomensday.com/BeBold. You will find many practical suggestions for how you too can, in your own workplace and life, be bold and help to finally close the gap for women, to the benefit of us all. Kia kaha!

Shelley Weir, National President, TIASA


Things turn sour for Cadbury employees

16th February 2017

Today’s announcement from multinational giant Cadbury, that they will close their landmark factory in Dunedin taking away the jobs of almost 400 people, has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many.

“This is a heartbreaking decision for the employees and their families. The impact of this choice will have tidal waves of consequence, which will be deeply felt by the local community,” CTU Secretary, Sam Huggard said.

“Working people and their unions are looking for leadership from both the local Dunedin City Council, the local Members of Parliament and from Government. When huge profit driven companies abandon communities in favour of being able to make more money elsewhere the system is clearly broken. People must come before profit.”

“New Zealanders need more opportunities to find work. The Government needs to have a clear strategy and plan to create more high quality jobs for Kiwis,” Huggard said.


Tai Poutini Council Chair steps down

1st February 2017

Tai Poutini Polytechnic (TPP) has thanked outgoing Polytechnic Council Chair Graeme McNally for his service to the institute and the West Coast region.

Incoming TPP Chair of Council Andrew Robb says Mr McNally’s decision to bring forward his departure as Chair of the Council was a considered one, which recognised the need for continuous leadership.

“On behalf of the Polytechnic, I would like to thank Mr McNally for his dedicated service and leadership. His decision to bring forward his resignation from the Council to February, rather than the end of April when his term ended, was a considered one which had the best interests of the Polytechnic at its heart”.


Kay Giles, Ara Chief Executive to retire

1st February 2017

The Chair of Ara Institute of Canterbury has announced that Kay Giles, Chief Executive, is to retire on 30th June.

Kay was appointed to the position of Chief Executive at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) in 2010, just weeks before the September earthquake. She has overseen CPIT’s recovery over the years that followed including, in 2015, the merger of CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic to form Ara Institute of Canterbury.

The Ara Council have engaged EQI Global management consultancy to begin the search for a new Chief Executive.


New Minister for Tertiary Education

21st December 2016

Prime Minister Bill English has announced the appointment of Paul Goldsmith as the new Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment.

Louise Upton is confirmed as Associate Minister.


Crown Manager appointed at Tai Poutini Polytechnic

13th December 2016

Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce has appointed a Crown Manager to support Tai Poutini Polytechnic through a challenging period.

The Council advise that the appointment is at governance level to assist TPP in addressing a number of issues and challenges. It does not directly impact on the roles and responsibilities of the Acting Chief Executive, who was appointed following the resignation of Alan Sargison in May.


Patience pays off with NMIT settlement

17th November 2016

Early in the year, TIASA members settled on a one year term (backdated to May 2015) as they were not happy with what was on offer for the second year and wanted to have the opportunity to receive and study NMIT’s financial report for 2015, to ascertain whether the end of year results were as forecast.

NMIT did very well in 2015 and, as a result, TIASA have negotiated a significantly better percentage increase.

Members unanimously ratified a two year settlement of 1.6% (effective from 2nd May 2016) and a further 1.6% from 2nd May 2017.


Settlement proposals ratified by TIASA members at a number of Institutes

16th November 2016

TIASA members at Ara Institute of Canterbury, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and Unitec, have ratified collective agreement settlements in the last fortnight.

Reaching a settlement at Ara has taken longer than expected and involved a number of report back meetings with members, one of which was a special meeting to hear directly from Ara’s Chief Executive regarding their bargaining stance and, for her to hear members concerns.

The two year agreement provides for a $900 increase to all salary rates from 1st July and a further $900 or 1.4% increase, whichever is greater, from 1st July 2017.

While TIASA members voted by majority to ratify the settlement proposal, they also sent a clear message to Ara Management regarding a real feeling of not being valued and, their concern over a perceived lack of transparency over a decision to increase the cost of parking for staff – that decision which was announced after the conclusion of bargaining, was not well received.


Easter Sunday should be for families, not commerce

21st August 2016

The Council of Trade Unions is backing the call of two former All Blacks to protect family time at Easter.

A government bill, which will make it easier for shops to open on Easter Sunday, is due back before Parliament this week for its third and final reading.

Former All Blacks Savae Michael Jones and Aiolupotea Tonu’u this week called on Parliament to not interfere with Easter Sunday, in the interests of Pacific people who have obligations to their churches, communities and families on the day.

CTU secretary Sam Huggard agrees.

“There are only 3 and a half days each year when shops are closed. These days are very previous for retail workers as they are the only guaranteed days off that shop workers cant be rostered on."

“Lots of community activities happen at Easter – school reunions, community group working bees, religious observance and more."

“Some things are more important than shopping. We can can shop on the other 361 and a half days a year. It's time for Parliament to do the right thing and protect family time at Easter,” Sam Huggard said.

More than 5,000 people have signed a petition asking Peter Dunne and Te Ururoa Flavell to vote to protect Easter.

ENDS

Sam Huggard, Secretary, NZ Council of Trade Unions Te Kauae Kaimahi


Crowdsourced advert highlights Kiwis’ AFFCO concerns

20th August 2016

Hundreds of concerned New Zealanders have come together to fund a full page advertisement in the Nelson Mail today to tell Sir Peter Talley to negotiate fairly with people who work at Talley’s-owned meat processor AFFCO.

The public message is the result of crowd-funding by Together - the digital campaigns arm of New Zealand's union movement.

Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sam Huggard says the funds for the advertisement were raised in just two days. "This shows how strongly Kiwis feel about AFFCO workers getting a fair deal."

"Sir Peter Talley needs to realise that his company's behaviour isn't just troubling for the people who work for AFFCO, but for their communities, and New Zealanders on the whole."

"Thousands of people are now calling for AFFCO to negotiate fairly, and they're making that call in Sir Peter's local paper."

"He needs to realise the damage AFFCO’s behaviour is doing to the people that work for the company and to Talley’s reputation, and start fixing this problem by engaging fairly with AFFCO workers."

The text of the advertisement is based on an open letter signed by more than ten thousand people:

To Sir Peter Talley

You and your family have been part of the fabric of New Zealand's society for decades. But your response to the Kiwis working in your Talley's AFFCO meat-plants is out of line with our values as New Zealanders.

We are the people who live in your community, who buy your products, who have helped you and your family do so well for so long. Now we ask that you do the right thing by the Kiwis who work at AFFCO and:

Listen to your workers and accept their right to join unions and bargain as a group. Negotiate fairly with your workers’ chosen representatives. Give workers real input into health and safety.

We know you consider yourself to be a good New Zealander. It's time to live up to that.

ENDS

The open letter is online at www.together.org.nz/talleys

For further comment please contact - CTU Secretary Sam Huggard - 021 462 148


TIASA mourns the loss of our Kaumatua, Wikitaringi (Wati) Ratana

4th July 2016

Ko te mea tuatahi e te Rangatira,

Kua wehe atu koe ki to Po

I tenei Wa mo te Matariki,

Me Te timatanga o te whakanui I to tatou Reo Rangatira

Haere haere haere atu koe,

Kua tae atu koe ki te taumata,

Rangi runga rawa ra e.

Ma te Aitua e manaaki koe.

Firstly to acknowledge you our Leader,

As you pass over,

It is only fitting, that you leave us during Matariki,

And as we celebrate our Maori Language,

Farewell, Farewell, Farewell,

You have reached that pinnacle of,

The heavenly skies above,

May god care for you always.

It is with great sadness that we advise that our Kaumatua Wati Ratana passed away over the weekend. Wati was a TIASA member at Manukau Institute of Technology and was also MIT’s Kaumatua.

Our heartfelt sympathy goes to Wati’s whanau, iwi, and colleagues.

Wati is lying in state at Mangatangi Marae until early tomorrow, when he will begin his journey to Paoarenga in the Hokianga.


Tai Poutini TIASA members vote unanimously to ratify collective agreement settlement

28th June 2016

Despite the many challenges facing Tai Poutini Polytechnic and, in complete contrast to the protracted bargaining two years ago, bargaining quickly progressed to an amicable and realistic settlement.

The settlement proposal that has been unanimously ratified by TIASA members at TPP, provides the security of a two year term and, salary increases of $700 in the first year and, $800 in the second year.

“The flat rate increase approach instead of across-the-board percentage increases, provide greater reward for those on lower salaries, resulting in increases ranging from 1% at the top to 2.3% at the lower end”, said TIASA’s Chief Executive, Peter Joseph.

“This is the latest in a number of recent successful bargaining outcomes for Allied Staff in the tertiary sector” he said.


Bargaining success at NorthTec

27th June 2016

Bargaining was completed late last week for our Allied Staff members at NorthTec. Although we had a two year term already in place, we had agreed with NorthTec in 2015 to leave bargaining for the 2016 salary movement until May this year, to allow the parties to better understand NorthTec’s financial position.

Our members voted unanimously to ratify the offer of a flat rate movement of $650.00 to paid and printed rates.

“We were pleased with the bargaining approach taken by NorthTec. We have a good working relationship with Management at NorthTec, which we believe is beneficial to our members” says Hayley McLean, Senior Employment Relations Advisor and Lead Advocate for NorthTec negotiations.

Despite the uncertainty with the imminent departure of Chief Executive, Paul Binney, NorthTec Management were keen to finalise this arrangement.


Manukau Institute of Technology Appoints New Chief Executive

24th June 2016

The Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) have announced the appointment of Mr Gus Gilmore as its new Chief Executive.

Mr Gilmore has had a long and distinguished career in Air New Zealand, including a time in charge of Air New Zealand’s international operations at Auckland Airport.

Mr Gilmore’s current role is Deputy Chief Executive of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) where he has been at the forefront, redesigning the funding framework for the tertiary sector and improving sector performance.

Peter Quigg will be the Acting Chief Executive until Mr Gilmore commences in the MIT Chief Executive role in September.


Government research agrees with CTU; 90 day fire at will periods are a failed experiment

17th June 2016

Working people are pleased that research commissioned by the Government is consistent with what working people have being saying - that 90 day fire at will periods are a failed experiment.

CTU Secretary, Sam Huggard reflects, "In 2009 when the National Government introduced 90 day fire at will periods people working in some of our lowest paid industries began to tell us horror stories of how some bad employers were using the new law to exploit working people. Things only worsened when in 2011 the provision was extended to all workplaces”.

"Good employers tell us that good appointment processes are the best way to ensure that working people, employers and roles are well matched. These 90 day periods do not give people a "foot in the door". The research shows there is no evidence for the Government’s promise that this law would give vulnerable workers a better chance of a job. It just makes them more vulnerable”.

The Government did the right thing in legislating against zero hour contacts and unfair demands on working people to be available without compensation for work that might never be offered. But this new law relies on working people being able to negotiate decent conditions. They can’t if they are vulnerable to being sacked at an employer’s whim in their first 90 days. To be consistent the Government must learn from its mistake and outlaw that too.

"Working people need a fair law, a law which ensures they are respected and valued in the workplace. Removing 90 day fire at will periods from law would show that the Government is committed to a fair law, a modern law, a better law," Sam Huggard said.

ENDS


Government refuses to support families and babies in extending paid parental leave

16th June 2016

The National Party has voted this afternoon to prevent families from having more paid time at home with our youngest citizens with the vetoing of Sue Mahoney’s Bill to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks.

Rebecca Mathews-Heron, spokesperson for the 26 for Babies campaign coalition commented “To not support paid time at home for families with babies is a major error in judgement by the Government. More paid time at home with newborns is widely supported by Kiwi families.

“Unaffordability does not stack up as an argument against extending more paid time at home with babies when much greater amounts are found for other policies. This decision is about this Governments priorities. This Government has failed to prioritise what is best for babies and their families".

“Our children deserve the best start possible. The facts prove that health outcomes are better when babies have more time with their primary caregivers. The Government has lost an opportunity to ensure all kiwi kids get a fair start – they have the wrong priorities,” Mathews-Heron said.

ENDS


Government receives Pay Equity principles

Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles statement

7th June 2016

The Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles has provided the Government with its recommendations for pay equity principles.

The recommended principles guide the implementation of pay equity for all workplaces, based on a good faith bargaining approach under the Employment Relations Act.

The principles were devised in response to a Court of Appeal decision in Terranova v Service and Food Workers Union and Bartlett, which held that the Equal Pay Act 1972 required equal pay for work of equal value rather than the same pay for the same work.

Crown Facilitator of the Joint Working Group, Dame Patsy Reddy, said the working group was set a challenging task, but approached the process constructively.

“From the outset the Joint Working Group focussed on achieving an outcome and worked very well together to develop the recommendations. Pay equity is a very complex issue and I would like to pay tribute to the good will and spirit of endeavour that the parties brought to the working group process. The members of the Joint Working Group should be proud of what they have achieved.”

Lead BusinessNZ representative on the Pay Equity Joint Working Group Phil O’Reilly said the use of normal rules of individual or collective bargaining to reach pay equity outcomes was a straightforward and robust approach.

“The use of existing good faith provisions in the Employment Relations Act and existing dispute processes including mediation, facilitation and determinations from the Employment Relations Authority will assist the parties concerned,” Mr O’Reilly said.

CTU president, lead union representative on the on the Pay Equity Joint Working Group Richard Wagstaff said the group can take pride in the agreed principles.

“We are now closer along the path to achieving equal pay for work of equal value than we ever have been before. New Zealand has led the world in equality when in 1893 women won the right to vote. We can still be world leaders, this time in equal pay,” Mr Wagstaff said.

The principles have been released as part of the work of the pay equity joint working group. Ministers are taking time to formally consider them.

ENDS


The payroll secret that is costing workers $500 a year

7th June 2016

Fresh analysis of documents released this week show that MBIE pushed to keep secret the significant underpayment of up to a third of New Zealand workers under the Holidays Act, costing affected workers up to $500 a year while the issue remained unresolved.

“MBIE advised Ministers 18 months ago to keep secret the extent to which workers had been shortchanged under non-compliance with the Holidays Act, and worse, were advising on future proposals that would actually cut workers’ pay,” CTU secretary Sam Huggard said today.

“On 9 December 2014 (and likely significant earlier), MBIE knew that there was a huge problem with holiday pay calculations."

“That month they told government that “most employers have made little attempt to comply” with their obligations to pay workers correctly under the Holidays Act.”

The documents show how MBIE initiated discussions where “payroll providers and large employers provided frank feedback on the issues that lead to non-compliance” and these groups were acknowledged on how they “generously gave their time and insights.”

Officials commented in December that: “The Labour Inspectorate has significant intelligence as to the size and location of many of these breaches. However, it has decided to concentrate on reactive work regarding the Holidays Act while the Ministry gets a handle on these issues.”

“This is a derogation of responsibility," Sam Huggard said.

"MBIE’s decision to keep quiet about the massive non-compliance they uncovered cost New Zealand workers millions of dollars. The Limitation Act 2010 forbids claims older than six years old, so silence in 2014 and 2015 forbids workers from claiming for losses in 2007 and 2008.”

Sam Huggard said the documents also showed how MBIE was advising on changes to the Holidays Act which by their own admission would cut some workers pay.

“The Holidays Act is a good law and it doesn't need radical change. The Act gives guidance on different options to calculate holiday and sick entitlements. These days New Zealanders work all sorts of hours, and the law provides for this. The questions aren’t complex.”

“MBIE and government are focused on ensuring employers comply with the law in the future. We support this of course, but there needs to be a significantly scaled up operation to uncover underpayment, and get workers paid back.”

“We think that the information released shows that MBIE has failed to safeguard working people’s interests. Many New Zealanders have lost significant sums of money as a result."

"The CTU has lost confidence in MBIE’s ability to deal with this issue. We call for the Government to fund a tripartite independent enquiry to look into the scope of these issues and recommend a remediation process. This process must be able to assess claims beyond the 6-year period set out in the Limitation Act 2010.”

ENDS


Budget 2016 – Working Kiwis deserve a better life

26th May 2016

Today the Minister of Finance, Bill English, has delivered the National Governments 8th consecutive Budget and working people are underwhelmed and disappointed.

“All working people deserve a health system they can count on and an education system which grows young minds to be the best they can be. Working people expect to contribute towards the cost of these, and many other crucial public services, with their taxes,” said CTU President Richard Wagstaff.

“Where are the solutions? The aspirations? The vision? Bill English and his Government are so focused on reducing government expenditure that they have lost sight of the increasingly urgent need to make improvements to working people’s lives now. Housing, health, education and many other parts of our lives need Government action,

“Working people are looking to the future – the decisions the Government makes today in terms of where money and resourcing are invested - will impact on the future of work for Kiwis next year and for the future,

“The Government continues not to do enough to create enough good jobs to keep up with rising population,

“This budget is a lost opportunity to invest in our long term future,” Wagstaff said.

ENDS


NorthTec Chief Executive resigns

16th May 2016

NorthTec’s Chief Executive Paul Binney, has tendered his resignation.

The Chair of NorthTec’s Council has acknowledged Mr Binney’s contribution and leadership, and has advised that they will advertise the CE position as soon as practicable.

Mr Binney becomes the third ITP Chief Executive to resign in the last month and fifth, when the impact of the merger on 1st May of Waiariki Institute of Technology and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, is taken into account.


Mansions & garden sheds

13th May 2016

The New Zealand Herald has released data today showing that our highest paid executives had a pay rise of 12% in 2015. In contrast most working Kiwis had a pay rise of 2.2% over the same period. So while the news is great for these high paid executives – why didn’t most working people also receive a 12% increase in pay?

“The increases for these executives mean that their average a pay rose by around $180,000 meaning an annual salary of $1,680,000. That is 37 times what most Kiwis get paid,” said Richard Wagstaff, CTU President.

“In real terms this means that the executive’s pay would buy a house in the most expensive area of New Zealand* every year and still have $300,000 left over – which is still almost seven times what most Kiwis get paid. For most working Kiwis an increase of 2.2% or $988 would only buy a kit-set garden shed,

“I think most New Zealanders would find this level of pay rise that those at the top of the economic pile are awarding themselves, way out of step with the realities of most working people,

“Right now our society is so out of balance in favour of the wealthy few. We must find ways to rebalance. One of the solutions is better employment law. This could ensure fairness in pay outcomes and strengthen the ability of working people to speak up together in their workplaces,” Wagstaff said.

*(Auckland City – East – average price $1,377,649)

ENDS

Note - We use annualised median weekly wage and salary income to estimate what most working Kiwis get paid. At June 2015 that was $45,864 according to Statistics New Zealand’s New Zealand Income Survey and rose 2.2% from June 2014.

For further comment, please contact: Richard Wagstaff, CTU President – 027 277 8131


Tai Poutini Polytechnic funding investigation

13th May 2016

Tai Poutini Polytechnic is the latest tertiary institute to be investigated over possible breach of their funding conditions.

Radio NZ reported this morning that the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) have said that the investigation was because of discrepancies found by a regular audit in 2015.

TEC have announced that Deloitte had been selected to run the inquiries.


TIASA call in Worksafe NZ to investigate a safety issue at Waiariki

11th May 2016

Worksafe NZ was called in to investigate work practices at Waiariki when TIASA was alerted to the fact that a number of staff may have been exposed to hazardous materials during the removal of ceiling panels.

Worksafe carried out an urgent inspection but could not confirm what the material in question was. Waiariki gave an assurance that work would be discontinued until the material was tested and the results known and, it was safe.

Tests of product showed that it was not asbestos but, that it was glass fibre which Worksafe confirmed still presented a risk to workers and other persons.

Waiariki is to put controls in place for the handling of this material. Worksafe have also recommended that Waiariki conduct an asbestos identification survey of all buildings to determine if asbestos is present as this will be useful for further work.

“While we are pleased that no-one appears to have suffered as a result of exposure to this potentially hazardous material, we are extremely concerned that Waiariki did not take all of the precautions that they should in dealing with this material and, as a result, staff were exposed to a substance that presents a risk to their health and safety”, said TIASA Chief Executive, Peter Joseph.


Tai Poutini Polytechnic Chief Executive Resigns

6th May 2016

The Chair of Tai Poutini Polytechnic Council has just announced that Allan Sargison, Chief Executive, has resigned – effective immediately.

The Council will shortly announce the appointment of an Acting Chief Executive.


Dr Brothers stepping down from Chief Executive role at MIT

14th April 2016

Dr Peter Brothers, Chief Executive of MIT, has announced to staff that on 8th July, he will be stepping down from the role that he has held for nine years.

The MIT Council has begun its search for a new Chief Executive.

“While most of our members will feel positive about new leadership and a fresh new approach, they will hope that it is not all about the financial bottom line” said Peter Joseph, TIASA Chief Executive. “Any successful business is also measured by their recognition of staff and their valuable contributions to the organisation’s success” he said.

ENDS


Merged polytechnic announce interim chief

5th April 2016

The Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Council has announced Dr Neil Barns as the interim chief executive for the merged institution.

Council Chairperson Cathy Cooney said the appointment was the next step forward for the new institution.

"As we near the May 1 merger date, it is important to ensure a seamless transition and maintain strong leadership to drive the new institution in its role in enhancing the social and economic development of the wider region," she said.

Dr Barns brings a wealth of experience in tertiary education management. He was previously chief executive of Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology and Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.

He is currently a member of the Education New Zealand board and has been the deputy chair of Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Waiariki Institute of Technology since 2010.

As a consultant Dr Barns has worked with many institutes, central government agencies, and on a range of international education projects.

Dr Barns started his role on March 31 and will support the current chief executives with the various merger workstreams in preparation for May 1.

From that point he will be taking over as interim chief executive of the new institution until the chief executive of the new institution is appointed.

Next steps for the council include holding a series of stakeholder engagement meetings to discuss the intended name of the new institution and its aspirations.

- Rotorua Daily Post


Another forestry worker killed at work

31st March 2016

Another forestry worker has been killed at work today. The Council of Trade Unions sends our deepest sympathies to the whanau and colleagues of the man who was working on a Pan Pac forestry block inland from Tutira, north of Napier.

This is the fourth forestry worker (or fifth including a construction worker who was killed on a forestry block) to be killed in forestry this year. CTU President Richard Wagstaff is deeply concerned. “Are we heading for another 2013? 10 men were killed at work in forestry in 2013, our most shameful year on record.

“Are we seeing a correlation between the price of logs going up and more forestry workers being killed? This is totally unacceptable. Are forestry companies putting additional pressure on those working to get the logs cut in order to maximise profit? WorkSafe must thoroughly investigate what is happening.

“WorkSafe must urgently get their inspectors on the ground in the forests, they must be taking every step possible to make sure forestry workers are safe at work,” Wagstaff said.


Waiariki staff vote to accept settlement proposal

14th March 2016

Allied staff employed at Waiariki Institute of Technology today voted to ratify the settlement proposal that the party reached in urgent discussions last week.

The settlement provides for a salary increase of 1.5% with a minimum increase of $725.00 and is backdated to 1st January 2016.

“Having a minimum dollar amount of $725.00 means that those on the lower salary rates will benefit the most and will receive increases up to 2%” said TIASA Chief Executive, Peter Joseph. “Just as importantly, the settlement also provides certainty and protection for those Waiariki staff employed at the Holiday Park” said Joseph.

A vote on strike action was deferred when urgent discussions between the Chief Executives of Waiariki and TIASA resulted in agreement to urgently reconvene bargaining last week.

“All parties are pleased that a reasonable settlement has been achieved and that students have not been impacted” said Joseph. “The focus is now on the merger date of 1st May and the considerable work and challenges that both staff and management as this date nears”.


Zero hour contracts officially history

10th March 2016

Today in Parliament the Government, along with its support parties, and those in opposition, voted in agreement to end the ability of employers to use corrosive zero hour contracts.

“As a society we are changing. Modern work means treating working people with more dignity and respect. The fact that this legislation has received cross party support is testament to a new vision; a better working life for all kiwis,” said CTU President Richard Wagstaff.

“This better law would never have happened without those that lead the forward charge in articulating an alternative. Special acknowledgement to Unite Union members who have, for a number of years, told their very personal stories about what it means to have no security of hours or income from week to week,”

“Thousands and thousands of working people participated in creating a sea change. They wrote letters, lobbied politicians, attended rallies, talked to their friends and families. Today’s win is their win, it is a win for us all,” Wagsatff said.

ENDS


Urgent bargaining results in settlement proposal at Waiariki

4th March 2016

Following urgent bargaining on Wednesday and today, Waiariki and TIASA have agreed a proposal for settlement.

The proposed terms of settlement are being drafted and, once checked and signed by the parties, will be presented to TIASA members for a ratification vote.


Ministerial appointments to the Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Council announced

2nd March 2016

Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce has today announced his appointments to the council of the new Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Council.

Rotorua’s Cathy Cooney is appointed as chair. She is a former Chief Executive of Lakes District Health Board and is the current Director of Kowhai Health Associates Ltd, a health consultancy company.

The other three appointees are Ian Turner, Rahera Ohia, and Ngaroma Tahana. Turner and Ohia are current members of the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Council while Tahana, is a current member of the Waiariki Institute of Technology Council.

“The communities and staff of both institutes will be pleased that the minister has finally made his decision” said TIASA Chief Executive, Peter Joseph. “There is less than two months until the merger takes effect and, there is a lot that needs to be done that could not occur until the Council was established” he said.


Urgent discussions result in strike vote deferral at Waiariki Institute of Technology

2nd March 2016

Urgent discussions late yesterday between the Chief Executives of Waiariki and TIASA, have resulted in agreement to urgently reconvene bargaining.

TIASA members met this morning and voted to defer their strike action ballot so as to allow discussions/bargaining to continue.

Negotiations reconvened immediately following the meeting of TIASA members.


Minimum wage increase… minimum

29th February 2016

Today’s announcement by the Government to increase the minimum wage from $14.75 to $15.25 per hour “is treading water” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“Increasing the minimum wage by $0.50 to $15.25 an hour, or $610 a week (which is what a 40 hour week gross earnings would be), is simply not enough to sustain a family on,”

“The minimum wage should be enough to take your family to the doctor, buy nutritious groceries, replace your washing machine if it breaks down. The minimum wage should be a wage you can live on, not just exist on,”

“In 2009 working people were campaigning for a minimum wage of $15. It’s taken seven years to get to $15.25. $15 was a fair minimum wage in 2009, it’s not a fair wage in 2016,"

“New Zealand could have a fair minimum wage but the Government is choosing to increase the minimum wage by the minimum amount. Increasing the minimum wage is an opportunity to make real and tangible improvements in the lives of people who have the least. This is a missed opportunity for the Government,” Wagstaff said.

ENDS


Allied Staff at Waiariki Institute of Technology to hold urgent vote on strike action

26th February 2016

Allied staff at Waiariki Institute of Technology voted unanimously at today’s stopwork meeting to reject the bargaining position adopted by Waiariki and, have instructed their union, TIASA, to hold an urgent vote on strike action.

TIASA members are seeking a $900 (with a minimum of 1.3%) flat rate increase to salaries and an extension of coverage to all allied staff.

“Staff are frustrated that not only are Waiariki refusing to agree to the modest and affordable increase that members are seeking but, they are steadfastly refusing to extend coverage of the collective agreement to their staff at Waiariki’s Holiday Park, who are their lowest paid and most vulnerable staff” said TIASA’s Chief Executive, Peter Joseph. “This is viewed as particularly important given the impending merger of Waiariki with Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and the uncertainty that this has created with all staff” he said.

“TIASA have given Waiariki an assurance that collective agreement coverage for staff at the Holiday Park would protect the Parks operational needs and affordability but, they are steadfastly refusing to consider this approach and are instead, proposing a separate agreement” said Joseph. “Given Waiariki’s stance to date, a separate agreement for Holiday Park staff would not be in their best interests”.

“Staff are reluctant to take action that may affect students but feel that Waiariki’s stance leaves them no option. Waiariki can settle this before students are impacted in any way” said Joseph.

ENDS


Settlement acknowledges and values staff at Awanuiarangi

25th February 2016

Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi and the Tertiary Institutes Allied Staff Association (TIASA) have settled negotiations for the renewal of the collective agreement for Wananga staff.

Bargaining for the renewal of the collective agreement took place with the back drop of a difficult and challenging last twelve months for Awanuiarangi and, the ongoing challenges of funding in the tertiary sector.

“The settlement is an excellent one in the circumstances” said TIASA Chief Executive, Peter Joseph. “This is the result of a relationship of trust and respect that has been built over a number of years and, what we believe is a genuine commitment by Awanuiarangi to value their Allied Staff and acknowledge their contribution to the wananga”.

The settlement provides for a two year term with a $950 increase to salary rates in the first year and, $1100 in the second.

“A flat dollar increase is viewed by both parties as a fairer approach as it acknowledges that those at the lower end of the salary scale are disadvantaged by across-the-board percentage increases” said Joseph. “Awanuiarangi are to be congratulated on their positive and value based bargaining” he said.

“TIASA, the ‘Specialist Voice’ for Allied Staff in the tertiary sector has an enviable record in collective agreement settlements throughout the country” said Joseph.

ENDS


Huge win for home support workers

19th February 2016

The Council of Trade Unions is celebrating a huge win secured by union members who support people in their homes.

Members of the PSA and E tū will finally be paid fairly. “These people do incredible work supporting members of our community to stay in their homes and at the same time receive the care they need,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“These working people will now be paid for the time it takes them to travel between the people they are caring for – as should have always been the case. From now on, all home support workers, regardless of who their employer is will be have a much better deal at work,”

“This win has been secured because these working people were determined to achieve fairness at work. They are testament to what can be achieved when we work together in union,” Wagstaff said.

ENDS


Waiariki TIASA members give Management bargaining ultimatum

17th February 2016

TIASA members at Waiariki have voted unanimously this week to reject Management’s bargaining stance that seeks to exclude the lowest paid and most vulnerable group of staff from collective agreement coverage.

“Members are appalled at the bargaining stance adopted by Waiariki management, particularly their refusal to allow the Holiday Park staff to be covered by the collective agreement” said TIASA’s Chief Executive, Peter Joseph.

“The decision, just prior to Christmas, to merge Waiariki and Bay of Polytechnic, has increased uncertainty among staff and that feeling is greatest with the Holiday Park staff who Waiariki management acknowledge are the lowest paid and most vulnerable” said Joseph.

TIASA’s members are seeking a ‘flat dollar’ salary increase of $900 and the inclusion of the Holiday Park staff under collective agreement coverage. If not accepted by close of office on Friday, TIASA members will hold an urgent stopwork meeting next week to discuss what action they will take.

ENDS


AUT TIASA members vote overwhelmingly in support of Collective Agreement Settlement

17th December 2015

The ratification meetings for TIASA members at AUT have resulted in an overwhelmingly vote of support for the settlement proposal negotiated - there was one vote against.

"TIASA members acknowledged and praised not only the level of the salary increase but, just as importantly, the fact that we managed to force the withdrawal of AUT's claims that targeted a number of key conditions such as hours and days of work; university days; and sick leave accumulation that have been hard fought and won by TIASA over many years", said Peter Joseph, TIASA Chief Executive.

"The settlement is the best achieved in the university sector and is testament to the importance of having a specialist voice for Allied Staff" said Joseph.


Decision to merge Waiariki Institute of Technology and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic

11th December 2015

Minister Joyce's decision to merge Waiariki Institute of Technology and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic from 1st May next year, flies in the face of public opinion.

The Minister received 106 submissions as part of his consultation process and, of these, only 23 agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal.

"Allied staff are extremely disappointed that the voices of the community have been ignored by the Minister and, his announcement so close to Christmas is viewed as particularly cynical" said TIASA Chief Executive, Peter Joseph.

"TIASA, staff, students, Iwi and other community leaders have been strongly critical over the lack of consultation or, a business case that justifies such a proposal" said Joseph.


55 Jobs Axed as Unitec contracts out Allied Staff work

6th November 2015

Unitec’s Chief Executive Dr Rick Ede this afternoon released the outcome document on phase one of their Sector Alignment and Student Services Blueprint Reviews, which result in 55 allied staff roles being contracted out to a multinational company.

Meetings were held with the various groups of impacted staff and their union, TIASA, this morning followed by the all staff meeting and presentation by Dr Ede early this afternoon.

“We are extremely disappointed that Unitec has decided to proceed down this path, despite the risks involved, impact on staff, their families, and the community and considerable opposition to the proposals” said TIASA’s Chief Executive Peter Joseph. “We will continue to support and represent our members through this process over the coming weeks and months and will be holding meetings with impacted members early next week. Staff and students of Unitec are stunned by today’s announcement” he said.

The majority of the redundancies are expected to take effect in April next year but Unitec management are calling for expressions of interest in voluntary redundancy at the end of next week.

“Allied staff are holding their collective breath as they now look forward to phases two and three of Unitec’s proposal” said Joseph.


Court finds against Trade Minister on TPPA Secrecy; Chief Ombudsman wrongly upheld his unlawful decision

13th October 2015

The High Court today vindicted charges that Trade Minister Tim Groser acted unlawfully in his quest to keep all information about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) secret.

The case involved judicial review of Minister Groser’s refusal to release various categories of documents under the Official Information Act, which the first applicant Professor Jane Kelsey requested in January 2015.

The Minister said ‘no’ without looking at a single document, claiming he knew what they all contained and that releasing them would jeopardise New Zealand’s interests.

‘The Minister’s approach epitomises the contempt for democratic processes and accountability that has pervaded these negotiations’, said Professor Kelsey.

Justice Collins said: ‘the Act plays a significant role in Nerw Zealand’s constitutional and democratic arrangements. It is essential the Act’s meaning and purpose is fully honoured by those required to consider the release of official information.’[para 156(2)

In ordering the Minister to reconsider his decision His Honour said ‘the orders I have made reinforce to the Minister and other decision-makers the importance of discharging their responsibilities under the Act and promote future compliance’ [para 158(2)].

Because this was a judicial review, the court could not consider the substantive grounds on which the Minister relied, but provided guidance for his interpretation as he reconsiders the request.

The judge effectively reserved the right for either party to return to the court within six months for further orders if the Minister does not appear to have taken the message of the judgement on board.

‘It’s cold comfort that the Minister will have to revisit the request, using a proper process and interpretation of the rules, after the negotiations have already concluded’, Professor Kelsey said. ‘His unlawful approach in circumventing the Official Information Act appears to have achieved its goal.’

Nevertheless, the Minister should now release at least some documents that can help inform the debate on the TPPA.

The court’s decision also has a longer-term precedent value. ‘It sends a message to this minister and his colleagues in the Executive that their legal obligations under the Act cannot be flouted just because they are politically inconvenient, and that people are prepared to challenge them if they do.’

Professor Kelsey suggests there are equally serious questions about the Chief Ombudsman’s failure to hold the Minister to account.

‘The Chief Ombudsman is meant to be a check on Executive power, not to legitimise its unlawful practices.’

‘That she could uphold such a seriously deficient interpretation of the Act, and delay the possiblity of a legal challenge for nearly five months while she reached that conclusion, shows the Office needs a serious overhaul.’

The Chief Ombudsman has still not reported on two categories of information that were omitted from her review of the Minister’s decision because she had not finalised her deliberations. That means they could not form part of the judicial proceedings.

Professor Kelsey described as ‘practically useless’ the Chief Ombudsman’s suggestions that a report on those matters is imminent, almost three months later, following several reminders and after the negotiations have been concluded.

These aspects of the request, as well as the Minister’s approach to the reconsideration, could form the basis of a supplementary approach to the court within the next six months.

‘I have updated the original request to the Minister dating to this week. Let’s hope the Minister now takes the law seriously and releases the raft of documents – and goes back to the other TPPA parties and asks them to rescind their secrecy memorandum.’


Health and Safety Reform Bill: A failed opportunity to make history

27th August 2015

The damaged, flawed Health and Safety Reform Bill has been voted through its final stage this afternoon.

"The Government had a chance to make history here” said CTU General Counsel Jeff Sissons. “Instead, they have added another chapter to a saga of missed opportunities and unnecessary death, pain and suffering for workers. New Zealand workers deserve better.”

When the Bill was introduced, it had the support of all political parties, workers and business. It was a foundation to rebuild New Zealand’s broken health and safety system. Sadly, the Government lost its nerve in Select Committee and the Bill came back bearing dozens of cuts and compromises to appease National’s backers. The law will be less effective and more workers will die and be hurt as a result.”

"The disaster at Pike River mine is a scar on our history. Creating better, safer law was promise the Prime Minister made. John Key has broken his promise to me and to all the families of the 29 men who were killed at Pike almost 5 years ago," said Pike widow Anna Osborne.

"The CTU will consider a judicial review of the proposed decision to exclude dangerous industries such as dairy farming, beef farming, sheep farming and stone quarrying from being considered ‘high risk’ and eligible for health and safety reps. The proposal is based on dodgy criteria and sends exactly the wrong signal to these industries about getting health and safety right.” Sissons said.

ENDS


BoPP Allied Staff vote overwhelmingly in favour of certainty and stability

14th August 2015

TIASA members at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic (BoPP) have voted overwhelmingly to ratify the settlement of their collective employment agreement.

BoPP is currently working through a proposal to merge with Waiariki Institute of Technology and this is creating considerable concern and uncertainty among staff at both institutes.

“This settlement gives our members some certainty and stability at a time when the merger proposal is creating considerable concern amongst staff and other stakeholders” said TIASA Chief Executive, Peter Joseph.

The settlement provides for a 17 month term, a salary increase from 1st August and a further increase in 12 months, and protects all current conditions of employment.

“Should the merger proceed, this settlement protects all current conditions for our members through to the end of 2016” said Joseph.


Another excellent settlement for tertiary sector Allied Staff

6th August 2015

Media Release

TIASA (Tertiary Institutes Allied Staff Association) agreed a settlement of the collective agreement that covers Allied Staff at Southern Institute of Technology (SIT).

“This settlement is an excellent one in the current environment and builds on the ground breaking settlements that TIASA has negotiated at Western Institute of Technology earlier this year and, more recently, at Otago Polytechnic” said TIASA’s Chief Executive, Peter Joseph.

The SIT settlement provides for a two year term with flat dollar increase of $1000 effective from 1st July 2015, and a further $1000 form 1st of July next year.

“This bargaining approach acknowledges that those at the lower end of pay scales are disadvantaged by across the board percentage wage increases. The flat dollar settlement of the SIT collective agreement will provide our members with increases that translate into percentages of 1.5% to 3% in each year”, said Joseph. “SIT are to be congratulated on their positive and fair bargaining approach” he said.

TIASA as the “Specialist Voice” for Allied Staff in the tertiary sector boasts an enviable record in collective agreement settlements throughout the country.

“The level of settlement varies dependent on the financial state of the institution we are bargaining with but, where we have had to negotiate percentage increases, those too have been the best across the sector”, said Joseph.

TIASA’s membership covers a wide cross section including Cleaners; Groundstaff; Security; IT; Marketing; HR; Counselling; Student Advisors; Administrators; Library/Learning Resources and third tier Management.

ENDS


Employer pleads guilty over forestry death

3rd August 2015

• M and A Cross Ltd , forestry employer of Charles Finlay, pled guilty today in Rotorua District Court

• Killed at work in Tokoroa in forestry on 19 July 2013

• CTU took private prosecution after Governments agent, Worksafe, refused

The CTU has always known that the death of forestry worker Charles Finlay was due to the poor health and safety practices of his employer. “Charles would not have died if his employer had taken the appropriate steps and ensured a safe workplace – it is of cold comfort that they now, two years on, take responsibility for that” CTU President, Helen Kelly said.

“The CTU, with the support of Charles’s family, needed to take this ground breaking private prosecution. Worksafe, the Government agency whose responsibility it is to ensure employers are held accountable for healthy and safe workplaces, did not hold this employer accountable for Charles’s death.”

“If the CTU hadn’t sought justice then M and A Cross Ltd would never have taken responsibility for Charles unavoidable death. Justice would never have been served,” Kelly said.

ENDS


Fix the Health and Safety Law – Pike Families

30th July 2015

The Government has today betrayed its promise to the families of workers killed at Pike, and in hundreds of other workplaces, by pushing weakened health and safety law through its second reading.

Family members of workers killed at Pike River Mine and in the forestry industry were in Parliament today for the second reading of the government’s health and safety legislation, and are calling for the Bill to be changed before it is passed into law.

Anna Osborne, whose husband Milton was killed in the Pike River disaster, says “These weaker laws are a betrayal.”

“John Key stood there after Pike and promised us he would fix the law. He hasn’t, but other MPs can if they stand up for what’s right.”

Sonya Rockhouse lost her 21-year-old son, Ben, at Pike River. She says, "The government’s Bill is broken. I don’t expect much from them but I’m hoping other parties will act to protect workers properly before it becomes law.”

Deborah McMillan, whose husband Shane was killing in a forestry accident says, “This Bill is a kick in the guts.”

“They’ve learned nothing from Shane’s death or from the hundreds of deaths at work since his. It’s just wrong.”

“I hope all of the MPs I saw in there today have a good think about who they stand for before they vote for this law.”

ENDS


TIASA News

Prime Minister breaks promise on changes to health & safety laws

24th July 2015

The CTU is appalled with the report released today by the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee. It considers the Prime Minister’s promise, that our laws would take “no steps backwards”, broken.

CTU President Helen Kelly is deeply concerned about what the impact will be on workers and their families. “The Government is trying to say that their changes are minor – this is simply untrue. These changes mean that work will be less safe – that is not minor.”

“We are especially concerned that the Government has stripped away so much of workers’ rights to take an effective role in their own health and safety. The health and safety issues and risks in small firms are at least as great as in any other business – disenfranchising their workers is simply the result of the Government listening to those small businesses that don't want to prioritise safety for their workers rather than the evidence that this is where most accidents occur. In larger businesses the Government has allowed employers to choose which workers have representation. That encourages employers with poor practices to resist change.”

“This is a major neglect of duty to present the law with these changes and a further betrayal of those that died at Pike River.” Kelly said.

ENDS


CTU mourns Peter Conway

11th June 2015

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Te Kauae Kaimahi is thankful for all the expressions of support and admiration of past CTU Secretary Peter Conway following his death this week.

Peter was a fine person and the outpouring of grief is an indication of how much he was admired and loved.

Peter held two jobs at the NZCTU – the economist position and Secretary. In both he used his considerable knowledge and skill to argue that the New Zealand economy existed for a purpose and not a means unto itself. He advocated strongly and often singularly that when the economy did not work for working people – that was because of policy choices – and these policies could and should be changed. Peter was able to simplify these messages so workers could engage in this debate and contribute their own views. He proposed real alternative practical policies that did incorporate the needs of workers. Unions are about jobs and Peter strongly advocated that our industries and sectors needed a plan to help them grow, and that the expertise and skills of workers needed to be at the centre of this. He was widely read and was a sought after contributor to many forums.

Peter was also a skilled union leader and was involved in all of the most difficult industrial disputes during his time as Secretary. He was able to help both practically by providing direct support and solidarity to workers during these disputes but also intellectually – looking for solutions, levers for settlement and developing strategic moves that would see workers get a fair deal. He always insisted that when workers were in a dispute everyone pulled together, dropped what else they were doing, and ensured they had the support they needed.

Many statements in the last two days have recorded how good Peter was at relationships. This was one of his strengths. He was always respectful and genuinely interested in finding solutions. But this should not be mistaken for him not feeling or expressing genuine anger when he witnessed things occurring that were inherently bad for working people. His huge anger at the introduction of new labour laws by the current Government, particularly the unfair right to dismiss workers in the first 90 days, was evident in the campaign he headed to expose these changes and organise workers against them. He had no respect for those advocating those sorts of policies and his years of experience organising for the then retail union the NDU (now First Union), made him acutely aware of what these laws meant in real terms for working people. As someone said about him, he could take the wind out of a storm, but he also could let the storm brew when that was what was needed.

The staff at the NZCTU, those in its affiliated unions and their members lost more than a dear dear friend this week. They lost someone who genuinely wanted them to succeed. Someone who used his skills and intellect to fight in their corner. Someone who could go anywhere and do a good job on behalf of them. Someone who they were immensely proud of and someone who they will always miss.

A funeral will be held for Peter in Wellington next Wednesday

No further comment will be provided at this time.


NZ health and safety slammed on international stage

9th June 2015

Workers have voiced concerns about the reform of health and safety happening in New Zealand, at the 104th session of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, in front of 185 countries.

Jeff Sissons, General Counsel for the CTU addressed the conference and gave a damming factual account of what has happed in health and safety since the Pike River Mine explosion when 29 men were killed (full speech below).

“It is distressing that we are having to tell the world that New Zealand is not doing all it can to keep our workers safe,” CTU President Helen Kelly said.

“New Zealand is now falling behind international standards on health and safety because the National Government is indulging the desire of some of our most dangerous employers to exclude workers from proper employee participation in health and safety.”

ENDS


Worker missing at quarry – better health and safety laws needed

8th June 2015

Workers across New Zealand extend their deepest sympathies and concern to family, loved ones and colleagues of the missing digger driver working at a North Canterbury lime quarry.

“Every worker should be confident that they can complete a day’s work and return home uninjured.” CTU President, Helen Kelly said.

“While the details of this specific accident are unknown we do know that already in 2015 two other workers have been killed in the quarrying sector.”

"It is tragic that these deaths occurred in quarries. Health and safety laws in mining were strengthened in 2013 responding to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Tragedy at Pike River Mine. But after lobbying from industry and assurances that quarries were safer than mines, the Government excluded quarries from the protections of the new law.“

“One of the most important exclusions was industry health and safety representatives. These representatives go from workplace to workplace checking on systems and providing advice on best practice. Perhaps an industry health and safety representative might have provided advice that saved these workers’ lives.”

“Now the Government wants to change the general health and safety law to make it weaker, including removing health and safety representatives from workplaces of less than 20 workers – they do so knowing that more workers will die. Surely the Government doesn’t want the blood of more workers on their hands?”

ENDS


NZs health system $1 billion worse off than six years ago; $220 per kiwi

8th June 2015

The Council of Trade Unions has completed a detailed analysis of the 2015 Health Budget and estimates that our public health system will be $1 billion worse off than it was six years ago.

“This year we estimate a funding shortfall of $245 million in the Health budget for the coming year. This follows five years of underfunding based on what was needed to cover increasing costs, demographic changes and new policy initiatives,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg.

“Between the 2009/10 and budgeted 2015/16 financial years, we estimate that the annual health budgets shortfalls have accumulated to over $1 billion. That’s around $220 for every man, woman and child in New Zealand.”

“Every year new policy initiatives are announced, such as this year’s funding for hospice services and last year’s announcement of free primary care for the under-13s but the funding for these is in effect being taken from other services.”

“This means that many New Zealanders will find it harder and harder to get the care they need when they need it.”

“The Government’s overall priority of reducing expenditure and policies such as the planned tax cuts are in effect being paid for in New Zealanders’ health services and other public services,” says Rosenberg.

ENDS


Workers are missing out; National Government continues to support the privileged few

22nd May 2015

Workers are not prioritised in the seventh National Government Budget.

CTU President, Helen Kelly is hugely disappointed, “there is absolutely no vision to create quality jobs. Instead this Government is focused on creating more low paid casual jobs, these jobs are insecure and do little to address the growing number of working poor.”

“Workers are missing out and they certainly aren’t getting their fair share given the huge contribution they make.”

“We are deeply concerned about the state of our regions. They are suffering from a lack in investment which could make a real difference in job creation, wages, living conditions and housing.”

“Health, education, social housing, and benefits for those in need; these are our precious public services and they are under attack. These crucial services, which impact on workers lives on a daily basis, are being stripped bare, increasingly privatised, and so under resourced that they are unable to meet the needs of the community,” Kelly said.

ENDS


Celebrating International Workers Day (May Day) and TIASA Day

1st May 2015

The 1st of May (May Day) is acknowledged globally as International Workers Day and is commemorated in many different ways.

May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and is unofficially celebrated in many more.

It is widely recognised that May Day had its origins in the mid to late 1800’s as working people struggled to gain an 8-hour working day and safer working conditions. It was quite common for people to work 16 hour days and, death and injury were commonplace at many work places.

On 1st May 1886, more than 300,000 workers walked off their jobs to celebrate May Day and to demand an 8 hour working day.

The struggle continues

For many, globally, the struggle for safety at work continues in 2015.

Here in New Zealand, we have the tragic situation of two quarry workers killed in the space of a month. Following the Pike River tragedy and in response to the recommendations from the Royal Commission, Health and Safety laws in mining were strengthened but, after lobbying from industry the Government excluded quarries from the protection of the new law. This needs to be fixed.

Celebrating TIASA’s achievements

1st May is also a day to celebrate our achievements and for TIASA, they are many. The strength and unity of TIASA members ensure that the conditions of employment that have been fought for over our 47 years history remain and are built on. Some of these, for example Easter Tuesday, are often taken for granted or, workers assume that they have been gifted by their employer. That TIASA/Union strength and unity is all that prevents these hard won gains from being temporary in nature. “Easter Tuesday” has been targeted for removal (without success) by many tertiary sector employers during bargaining in recent years. Our collective agreement settlements are the best in the tertiary sector and are testament to the fact that we are that, a single, specialist voice for Allied Staff, pays.

Celebrate International Workers Day and TIASA Day and remember “We are big enough to matter and small enough to care”. We are TIASA, the Specialist Voice for Allied Staff.


Union members win fight over zero hour contracts

9th April 2015

Union members have won the removal of zero hour contacts in negotiations with fast food giant Restaurant Brands (owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr and Starbucks).

“Members of Unite Union have campaigned successfully – they’ve highlighted what the reality of zero hour contacts mean and how impossible it is to pay bills and make plans when you have no security of income,” CTU Secretary, Sam Huggard said.

“This is a win against a one of the world’s fast food giants and a real example of how powerful workers can be when they stick together.”

“There are many forms of insecure work in New Zealand, and zero hour contacts is just one of the tools employers are using to treat workers badly. This win should send a clear message to workers; if you stick together then you really can get your employer to listen.”

“Attention will now turn to McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy’s, who should each follow suit and ensure their workforce have access to reliable hours,” Sam Huggard said.

ENDS


Paid Parental leave increases - but more work needed

1st April 2015

Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said.

”The OECD average is 22 weeks paid parental leave, and the amount paid to workers overseas is generally higher. In New Zealand the maximum weekly paid parental leave payment is currently $504.10 before tax, which is just 85% of the minimum wage,” said Sam Huggard, CTU Secretary.

“Union members will continue campaigning for better paid parental leave – through nationwide campaigns but also through influencing workplace policy and in collective agreement negotiations.”

“Paid parental leave is a big issue for families and especially for women union members who constitute 58% of union membership. More than a third of workers who are covered by a collective employment agreement have parental leave provisions that are above the legal minimum. These union members and their unions lead the way in good paid parental leave provisions.”

“This is evidence of the power of workers coming together to negotiate their terms and conditions together, but we need a much more supportive state provision for all workers including those who currently don’t have access to a union,” Huggard said.

“2006 was when the Government last researched New Zealanders use of paid parental leave. That was 10 years ago now and we believe that it’s time to update the research. In 2006 the evidence was that new parents were returning early to work because of financial pressures. That situation is likely to have worsened.”

“Our paid parental leave provisions still remain low by international standards and though there is a shift in the right direction, it is nowhere near as good as it needs to be.” Huggard said.

ENDS


Inequality is not ‘flat to falling’ Minister

17th March 2015

Assertions by the Finance Minister about inequality are not borne out by the facts, the CTU said today.

Bill English told TVNZ’s Q+A programme on Sunday that inequality in New Zealand is ‘flat to falling’.

Yet an analysis by the CTU on the incomes of those at the very highest shows that rather than falling, it is skyrocketing. Income data recently released by Inland Revenue shows that in the two years to March 2013 (the latest available data) shows a sharp rise in inequality due to rapid rises in high incomes.“ The average income of the top 1% has risen steeply since 2011,” said CTU Secretary Sam Huggard.

“For this group, the average income rose from $298,000 in the year to March 2011 to $382,000 in the year to March 2013.”

“This is an increase from 8.5 times the average income to 9.7 times.”

“The average income of the top 0.1% is estimated to have risen from $665,000 to $892,000 over the same period, from 19 times the average income to 23 times.”

“How this can be described as ‘flat or falling’ beggars belief.”

“Unions will continue to push for a more equal society and lifting wages is the single most effective way to achieve this.”

“Across the country workers will be making their case for a decent payrise this year. They are due for a catch-up after several years of low increases which were below what the economy can afford. That is especially true for workers such as those in health care whose pay went up by only 0.7% on average in the last year,” Huggard said.

ENDS


New Chief Executive announced for WelTec and Whitireia

10th March 2015

The Chair of the Combined Council of WelTec and Whitireia, Roger Sowry, today announced the appointment of Chris Gosling to Chief Executive of both institutes.

Mr Gosling is currently Deputy Chief Executive of Whitireia and will take up the new role on 1st May.

WelTec and Whitireia have operated a strategic partnership since 2012 and currently have a Combined Council.

ENDS


Latest employment law changes take effect today.

6th March 2015

The latest in a long line of employment law changes introduced by the current government took effect today.

While thousands of workers throughout New Zealand will be adversely impacted by the removal of their statutory right to tea breaks, TIASA members have that right enshrined in their collective employment agreements.

The other ‘key’ changes that are directly aimed at unions relate to changes to bargaining for collective agreements.

“We have excellent collective agreements for Allied Staff right throughout the tertiary sector, however, we do acknowledge that we need to continue to grow our membership to ensure that we are able to resist any attempts to undermine our hard won conditions”, said TIASA’s Chief Executive, Peter Joseph.

“TIASA’s settlements are the best in the sector and, because we are the ‘Specialist Voice for Allied Staff’ we are able to successfully argue for and achieve, settlements that exceed those for other groups of staff – recent settlements at Western Institute of Technology, Tai Poutini Polytechnic, and EIT are all testament to that”, said Joseph.

ENDS


March 8 International Women’s Day : Time to ‘Count us in’

6th March 2015

On Sunday woman all over the globe will be marking international women’s day. The International Trade Union movement’s theme for the day is ‘Count us in’.

“On International Women’s Day we celebrate all women workers - those in paid and unpaid work. We honour working women heroes who have stood out as champions for women’s rights at work. We celebrate Kristine Barlett and the many thousands of caregivers who are at the forefront of the historic struggle for equal pay In New Zealand,” CTU Women’s Committee Co-convenor, Sheryl Cadman, said.

Twenty years ago, governments adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – a ground-breaking road map for governments, civil society, trade unions and private sector actors for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights.

Twenty years on, the challenges remain stark:

• While women’s labour force participation in New Zealand is high, women are over represented in insecure, precarious and undervalued work;

• Women’s average wages are between 13.3 and 29 per cent less than those of men;

• Gender-based workplace bullying and harassment is an all-too-tolerated feature of the workplace.

“On International Women’s Day 2015 the CTU calls for the Government and all employers to commit to ensuring all women, regardless of industry, are fairly paid, have decent and safe workplaces,” said Cadman.

“The Government must have a plan to ensure women’s access to fair pay and decent work. This needs to include extended paid parental leave, easy access to early childhood education for working parents, family-friendly policies at work and workplaces that are free from bullying and sexual harassment. This plan would lift hundreds of thousands of women and families out of poverty wages and incomes, meet the standard of decent work and provide for a sustainable future,” said Cadman.

“It’s time for the Government to change its mind-set. Start recognising, accounting and paying for the real value of women’s work,” said Cadman.

ENDS


Shameful attack on all workers

30th October 2014

The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers.

“These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which could be a world leader, now lags so far behind.” CTU President, Helen Kelly said.

“These new laws are intended to attack basic work rights. Workers will now find it much harder to get a fair deal through collective bargaining simply because employers will be able to legitimately refuse to agree a collective agreement. This law attacks workers when they are most vulnerable; when they are negotiating for a new job, when their employment is at risk. Many workers will even lose their rights to tea and meal breaks.” Kelly said.

“Kiwi workers deserve more than this.” Kelly said.

ENDS


Equal pay win in Court of Appeal

28th October 2014

Today the Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers.

The Court of Appeal decision supports the case of caregiver Kristine Bartlett and her union, the Service and Food Workers Union, that in female-predominant industries the claimant may have to go outside the “infected” industry to decide what the female workers should be paid.

“I am over the moon about the Court of Appeal decision,” said Kristine Bartlett.

“I am nearing the end of my working life but am pleased that the Court of Appeal has confirmed what I always thought – caregiving is not recognised or paid fairly because most caregivers are women.” Bartlett said.

“I took this case, with the support of my union, not just for myself but for the tens of thousands of caregivers who get paid close to the minimum wage for doing one of the most important jobs in our society.” Bartlett said

“I urge the employers and Government to abandon any further appeals in favour of getting around the table with my union to sort out a just solution,” said Kristine.

Service and Food Workers Union National Secretary John Ryall said the Court of Appeal decision came 42 years after the passing of the Equal Pay Act and once implemented would substantially narrow the gap between the wages of men and women in New Zealand.

ENDS


Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases

23rd October 2014

With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years unless they worked longer hours,” CTU economist Bill Rosenberg says. “Productivity has been rising for several years but hasn’t been recognised in pay increases.”

“Housing and electricity costs are driving annual inflation. At an annual increase of 1.0 percent overall inflation is lower than expected and almost 80 percent of that is housing and energy costs. The Reserve Bank should be considering lowering interest rates rather than raising them. The focus should be on lowering housing costs by building more houses and improving state rental housing and private tenancy conditions rather than risking the uneven recovery with higher interest rates.” Rosenberg said.

Over the year, housing and household utilities, which includes rents, new housing and home energy prices, accounted for almost four-fifths (79.5 percent) of the increase in the CPI. Rents, costs of new housing, maintenance, rates and energy costs all rose at a rate well above the 1.0 percent rise in the CPI. By far the largest contributor to energy costs was electricity, which rose 3.7 percent over the year. Rents rose 2.2 percent, purchase of new housing 4.8 percent, rates 3.8 percent and energy (including gas and solid fuels) 3.6 percent. “And this doesn’t include interest payments, which rose 1.2 percent over the year,” Rosenberg said.

Inflation in Canterbury was considerably higher than the rest of the country at 1.6 percent for the year, with housing and utility costs rising 4.9 percent for the year compared to 3.4 percent for the country as a whole.

ENDS

For further comment, please contact: Bill Rosenberg, Economist, CTU, 04 802 3815 / 021 637 991


Surprise gift for Labour Weekend

21st October 2014

The Government is wasting no time in progressing the Employment Relations Bill into legislation.

The Bill, which attacks collective bargaining and removes tea breaks for many vulnerable workers, will be in Parliament today and passed on Thursday ...... just in time for Labour Weekend.

End


Job losses: MIT announce major staffing review

15th October 2014

Staff members at MIT’s two largest faculties, the Faculty of Education and Social Sciences (FoESS) and the Faculty of Engineering and Trades (FoET) were called to meetings yesterday to be advised of a major review of the faculties which will result in significant job losses.

Both faculties are forecasting deficits of over $3 million.

Staff listened in silence as the overview was presented by MIT Management but there were audible gasps when the extent of the impact on current staffing was revealed.

The consultation period for the reviews commenced yesterday and it is proposed that it will conclude on 4th November.

“TIASA has questioned both the adequacy and reasonableness of the consultation period as it effectively only provides 14 working days for impacted staff to consider the restructuring proposal, take advice, consider available options and, provide feedback/submissions on the proposal” said TIASA Chief Executive, Peter Joseph.

“We are not seeking to unnecessarily prolong the review process as we certainly understand how distressing this is for our members but, we do want to ensure that all impacted have the opportunity to properly consider and respond to the proposal” he said.

TIASA will be holding meetings early next week with members in the two faculties impacted by the review, to discuss the proposals and, to provide support and advice.


WelTec Members welcome settlement and 10 months back pay

15th October 2014

TIASA members at WelTec (Wellington Institute of Technology) received the fruits of their collective agreement settlement today.

“Negotiations for the renewal of the collect agreement which expired in December 2013, have been protracted and frustrating at times” said TIASA’s Chief Executive, Peter Joseph. “But members appreciate the protection of their current conditions and of course, having the salary increase backdated to last December. I understand that our Branch Chair has been inundated with offers of coffee from happy members” he said.

The collective agreement has a two year term backdated to 16th December 2013.


CPIT Allied Staff reap the rewards of having a “Specialist Voice”

10th October 2014

TIASA members at CPIT (Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology) recently ratified a settlement proposal for their collective agreement which, over the two year term, delivers them salary increases of 1.5% and 1.6%.

“Although members had hoped to gain a higher level of settlement, they voted overwhelmingly to ratify the settlement proposal as they understand very well the funding challenges facing the tertiary sector and CPIT”, said TIASA’s Chief Executive, Peter Joseph.

“Members asked TIASA to make it clear to CPIT, the high level of disappointment in the salary offer – this was received and understood by CPIT” he said.

“New Zealanders want and deserve a more equal society – what is the Government going to do to ensure we don’t see the pay gap increase even further in 2015?” McLeod said.“The TIASA settlement at CPIT is one of the best in the tertiary sector in recent times and the benefit of having a “Specialist Voice for Allied Staff” is not lost on our members, particularly when the TEU settlement, for Academic Staff, negotiated at the same time, resulted in 1.3% + 1.3%” said Peter Joseph.

TIASA members received the 1.5% component and backpay in the latest pay period. The collective agreement contains a Pass-on provision that ensures that a period of at least six months must have elapsed before any of the terms can be offered to those allied staff on individual employment agreements.

TIASA, with a membership in excess of 200, is the largest union at CPIT.

ENDS


Pay gap between men and women growing

3rd October 2014

The annual New Zealand Income survey has been released today and provides clear evidence that the gap in the average wage is widening between what men and women in New Zealand are earning.

“The fact that there is a difference between what men and women are earning is unacceptable, but the fact that this gap is as big as it is, at almost 14% of the average wage, will shock New Zealanders.” Pay and Employment Equity Coalition spokesperson Angela McLeod said.

“Surely this will spur the Government to act. Addressing this growing gap in pay between men and women is the responsibility of the Government. They must show leadership and commit to plan to solve this growing problem.” McLeod said.

“New Zealanders want and deserve a more equal society – what is the Government going to do to ensure we don’t see the pay gap increase even further in 2015?” McLeod said.

ENDS

For further comment or information please contact

Angela McLeod, Spokesperson, Pay and Employment Equity Coalition – 027 497 2761


Celebrating 121 years of Women's suffrage

19th September 2014

New Zealand made history on this day 121 years ago when finally women won the right - to vote.

TIASA's National President, Shelley Weir, will pay tribute to those who won women the vote, by voting today in New Zealand's general election.

ENDS


Workers despair at Nationals lack of fairness

15th September 2014

“Nationals Workplaces policy, released today, fails to articulate any vison about how life for working New Zealanders can be improved.” CTU President Helen Kelly said.

“Again if this policy focusses on removing work rights, its own documents say will drive wages down and the policy ignores the reality that workers in this country need a pay rise. The proposed legislation will remove the tea and lunch break making work more dangerous for groups like forestry workers and miserable for thousands of others. It ignores the reality that the 90 day trial period law is being misused by bad employers to dismiss thousands of workers without cause and it does nothing to reassure workers of security of employment.” Kelly said.

“Workers have real choices this election. In 100 days if Labour and Greens are elected all this negative employment law will be reversed, the minimum wage will have been increased and workers will be on a real path of progressive employment policies that recognise they live and work in New Zealand too and deserve a fair go.” Kelly said.

ENDS

For further comment, please contact: Helen Kelly, President, CTU, 021 776 741.


Outlook: unacceptable lack of wage growth & unemployment above 5%

11th September 2014

“The Reserve Bank’s forecasts show an economy that offers little hope of fair wage increases and falls in unemployment to pre-GFC levels under current policies,” says CTU Economist, Bill Rosenberg. “It says wage growth is ‘subdued’ and held down by continuing unemployment and strong immigration.”

“The Reserve Bank is forecasting that wage growth will be even lower than Treasury’s pre-election forecast, meaning real wages increases will be under 1% a year despite a growing economy. We can and should be doing better than this. New Zealand can do it with policies that support productive investment, such as in manufacturing, bring the exchange rate down to more realistic levels, and ensure wages rise with the productivity of the economy,” Rosenberg said.

“While Treasury forecast unemployment would fall to 4.5% by 2018, the Reserve Bank forecasts it won’t get lower than 5% and will rise to 5.2% between 2015 and 2017. Unemployment was 3.5% in 2007,” he says.

“Meanwhile, banks are funding their lending cheaply from overseas, pushing the dollar up and making the lives of exporters harder, while ensuring depositors don’t see a rise in their returns,” Rosenberg said.

“None of this helps to rebalance the economy and ensure wage and salary earners get a fair share of the growth in the economy that depends on their work. Only better economic, monetary and wage policies can change that,” Rosenberg said.

ENDS

For further comment, please contact: Bill Rosenberg, Economist, CTU, 04 802 3815 / 021 637 991


Awanuiarangi settlement best in tertiary sector

9th September 2014

TIASA members at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi have voted unanimously to ratify a two year agreement that delivers the best settlement in the tertiary sector.

Members receive a minimum increase of 1.5% backdated to 1st January 2014 and a further 2.2% from 1st January 2015.

The percentage increases were agreed some months ago but the parties have been working through the details of the new salary structure which results in many members far exceeding 1.5% this year.

“This is an excellent settlement in the current environment” said TIASA Chief Executive and Lead Advocate, Peter Joseph. “Bargaining in this sector has been hamstrung by funding issues; some poor financial results in a number of ITP’s and, low settlements for academic staff” he said.

“TIASA members at Awanuiarangi had opted to break away from joint bargaining with the TEU this time and, as the specialist voice for allied staff, this meant that we were not distracted by issues that had very little to do with our members” said Joseph.


It’s TIASA Conference time !!

27th August 2014

Between 60 and 70 Branch activists and elected officers of TIASA, will converge on Rotorua on 4th, 5th, and 6th September for the union’s 2014 Conference.

Helen Kelly, CTU President heads a list of dynamic Keynote Speakers that are sure to be both highly topical and thought provoking.

A number of interesting and relevant workshops are also scheduled for Conference delegates.

TIASA Conferences are renowned for their professionalism, relevance, hard work and, of course, celebrations – this one will be no different.


Government “opening of the books” shows wasted opportunity

19th August 2014

“The economic and fiscal forecasts in the pre-election update – the ‘opening of the government’s books’ – shows how the Government has failed to grasp the opportunity of the Global Financial Crisis to rebalance the economy,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “We are seeing forecast economic growth rates that peak in March next year and rapidly decline to the mediocre – around 2.1 percent and well below growth rates in the 2000s before the crisis. The current account deficit blows back out to over 6 percent of GDP within two years. Productivity growth is forecast to be mediocre and falling.”

“This is an economy which relies on commodity exports with notoriously unreliable returns as Bill English reminded us, an earthquake rebuild and construction in Auckland. The high value, high wage economy is nowhere in sight,” Rosenberg says.

“The forecasts show real wages falling behind productivity growth over the next four years, meaning wage and salary earners will not be getting their share of what the economy can afford. Unemployment is forecast to still be above 5 percent in 2016, with 132,000 unemployed. The best it gets is 4.5 percent (117,000 people), despite New Zealand doing much better during the 2000s.”

Rosenberg says that the Government’s forecast of its own expenses show falls in real spending per person affected in Health, Education and Social Welfare and Working for Families. “These count on state service employees continuing to tolerate pay increases below the rest of the workforce, along with major restructuring and loss of services after the election if National is returned to power. Even using all the forecast operating allowances to fill the gaps would not be enough – and that does not allow room for new or expanded services. Tax cuts would make the position even worse.”

“The excessive focus on cutting spending ignores growing deficits and imbalances elsewhere in the economy and society. They cannot be ignored for ever. They include low wages, high levels of inequality and poverty, climate change, the ageing population, the unbalanced economy, and growing gaps in health and education. These policies will leave a legacy of social, economic and environmental deficits for future Governments,” Rosenberg said.


# PeaceLikeMine – international union campaign for peace in Gaza

8th August 2014

Workers in New Zealand are today the first to participate in an international day of action being undertaken by unions across the globe calling for the United Nations to do more to deliver peace between Israel and Palestine.

“The only solution is a permanent cease-fire with the intervention of the international community to force the parties to the table to conclude a negotiated settlement that ends the blockade of Gaza and the occupation of Palestine. The people of Israel and the people of Palestine will only be assured of a peaceful and secure future with a two-state solution, where all people can live in peace and security and build a future for themselves and their children.” CTU President Helen Kelly said.

“Today people from all around the world will take a photo of something which represents what peace means to them – perhaps it’s breakfast with the family, a sleeping child, coffee and a newspaper, a walk along the beach, whatever peace means to them – then thanks to technology – these images can be uploaded to the website www.bypost.com/peacelikemine which will then generate a personalised postcard to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.” Kelly said.

“Lots of people are asking what they can do about the terrible situation in Gaza – here is something people can do.” Kelly said.

Other things you can do

Tweet your postcard photo with the hashtag #PeaceLikeMine

Share your postcard photo on facebook #PeaceLikeMine


Another settlement achieved – Whitireia members vote to ratify collective agreement

24th July 2014

TIASA members today voted to ratify the settlement proposal reached between Whitireia and TIASA.

The settlement provides for a two year term with a 1% increase in salaries backdated to 1st March 2014, and a further 1.4% increase from 1st March 2015.

Members acknowledged that they have very good conditions of employment and, the importance of seeing them protected for a two year term.


Amended offer from Unitec accepted by TIASA members

24th July 2014

Unitec TIASA members have ratified a two year settlement of their collective agreement.

Two weeks ago, members expressed their concern and outrage at a settlement proposal from Unitec that they viewed as “outrageous” and “discriminatory” and, rejected it.

Unitec’s amended settlement proposal ensured that all TIASA members received the same percentage increase.

Unitec had not sought any other claims against conditions and this was viewed positively by members.

The collective agreement has been signed by the parties.


Waiariki TIASA Members vote overwhelmingly in favour of two year settlement

17th July 2014

Negotiations that were protracted and, at times, difficult, have been settled with TIASA members at Waiariki voting overwhelmingly to ratify the settlement proposal.

The settlement provides for a two year term and salary increases of 1.25% in the first year (backdated to 1st January) and 1.5% in the second year.

Other important components of the settlement are:-

• Retention of Employment Protection Insurance (this has not applied to those on the TEU collective agreement or staff on IEA’s, for approximately 18 months).

• Wellness/Health & Fitness: Members covered by the CA are entitled to one “Wellness day” per year plus, will receive a taxable allowance of $200 gross in July each year as a contribution to the costs incurred as a result of participating in healthy and fitness activities.

• Remuneration Working Party: To review and improve the remuneration structure.

The well attended meeting of TIASA members acknowledged that it was a very good settlement in the current environment and noted that it was superior to the Academic settlement (ratified in the same week).

The TIASA membership density at Waiariki is in excess of 90%.


National President addresses Parliamentary Select Committee on Education Amendment Bill No2

29th May 2014

TIASA’s National President, Shelley Weir, has just spoken to our written submissions to Parliament’s Education & Science Select Committee, regarding Minister Hekia Parata’s Education Amendment Bill No 2.

The Bill alters the composition and number of Council members, in favour of a purely corporate model from the business world. The evidence overwhelmingly shows this model has not been successful elsewhere, and also that it holds serious ramifications, if implemented, for the democratic operation of our organisations’ Councils. The Bill has aroused much concern across the tertiary education sector including, strong criticism about its adverse impacts from University vice-chancellors as well as from ITP's.

TIASA was congratulated by the Committee Chair on our “comprehensive written submission and succinct, informative and thorough oral presentation." TIASA was only allocated 10 minutes, but did our best to ensure the Committee members do understand if this Bill is implemented, not only is it not supported by any evidence that it is necessary and will succeed, but it will also create highly inappropriate governance arrangements for tertiary education institutions. It is extremely likely to carry adverse, rather than positive, effects, that at some future point will need to be undone at great cost.

TIASA has experienced many changes in tertiary institutional governance since the 1989 Learning for Life tertiary education reforms were first enacted. We were able to confidently speak of the negative effects that various Councils have had or can have, when their scope is restricted to only a small selected group of purely business-oriented people, as this Bill proposes. Not only may such a Council lack any real understanding of the differences between tertiary educational organisations and commercial, for-profit businesses, the Bill excludes all knowledgeable first hand expertise and voice that comes from true stakeholder representation, i.e. that includes the truly representative voice of staff, students , women and Maori. Now, we can only hope that our voice has been heard by government and that it reconsiders and does not proceed with this Bill.

Many thanks to those who contributed to our submissions. It is so important for us to be heard.

End


Celebrating International Workers Day (May Day) and TIASA Day

1st May 2014

The 1st of May (May Day) is acknowledged globally and is commemorated in many different ways.

May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and is unofficially celebrated in many more.

It is widely recognised that May Day had its origins in the mid to late 1800's as working people struggled to gain an 8-hour working day and safer working conditions. It was quite common for people to work 16 hour days and, death and injury were commonplace at many work places.

The struggle continues

For many, globally, the struggle for safety at work continues in 2014. Thursday 24th April marked the One Year anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in which 1134 workers died and thousands more seriously injured. The occasion was marked by world-wide demonstrations against Benetton, one of the major clothing companies involved at Rana Plaza and who to date have not contributed anything to the compensation fund for the families of the victims.


TIASA’s Submission to Parliamentary Select Committee Slams Education Amendment Bill (No2)

1st May 2014

TIASA’s submission opposing the Education Amendment Bill (No2) was lodged with Parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee by yesterday afternoons deadline.

The Bill seeks to remove key stakeholder representation from University and Wananga Councils. If passed, Councils would be reduced in size to a group of eight to twelve, four of whom will be Ministerial’ appointments. Student; Staff; Maori; Pasifika; Union; and Employer representation will be removed.

In TIASA’s submission National President, Shelley Weir, says “We are deeply concerned that the Bill removes most stakeholder participation altogether. We believe this flies in the face of well-established models of good governance, worldwide, and rather than reduce risk to any wananga/university or enable it to better manage risk, this proposal will greatly exacerbate risk and the likelihood of risk impacts”.

She noted that the long term impact of the Bill, if passed, will be serious for our nation and the sector as a whole.

TIASA has asked to be heard at the Select Committee.

End


Difficult, protracted negotiations at MIT and AUT finally settled

25th March 2014

TIASA members at both MIT and AUT have, in recent days, voted to ratify settlement proposals.

Both sets of negotiations were difficult and protracted, but for different reasons. The financial situation faced by MIT following the Mainzeal collapse and, a low level of settlement of the TEU’s Academic Collective Agreement.

The situation at AUT is unique, in that the vice chancellor in 2011, consolidated bargaining for the Allied Staff Collective, effectively “gifting” our collective to the TEU despite the fact that TIASA had in excess of 400 members while the TEU had only a handful of Allied staff members.

TIASA members at both MIT and AUT have taken a pragmatic approach and voted (by majority) to ratify their respective settlement proposals but, have made it very clear that they expect to be valued better by their employers when it comes time to renew the collective agreements.

Settlement proposals have also been reached at Otago Polytechnic and NorthTec and these will go to TIASA members for discussion and voting in the next week.


New minimum wage rates take effect from 1 April 2014

31st March 2014

The new adult minimum wage rates (before tax) that apply to employees aged 16 or over will be:

$14.25 per hour, which is

$114.00 for an 8-hour day,

$570.00 for a 40-hour week.

The Starting-out wage rates and the training minimum wage rates (before tax) will increase to:

$11.40 an hour, which is

$91.20 for an 8-hour day or

$456.00 for a 40-hour week.

The Starting-out wage applies to:

• 16- and 17-year-olds in their first six months of work with a new employer (or until they are training or supervising others)

• 18- and 19-year-olds who have been paid a benefit for six months or longer, and who have not completed six months of continuous work with any employer since starting on benefit (or until they are training or supervising others)

• 16- to 19-year-old workers in a recognised industry training course involving at least 40 credits a year.

The training minimum wage applies to employees aged 20 years or over who are doing recognised industry training involving at least 60 credits a year as part of their employment agreement, in order to become qualified.


30 Years since Trades Hall Bombing in Wellington

27th March 2014

March 27 marks the 30th anniversary of the Trades Hall bombing in Wellington. The bomb killed Ernie Abbort President of the Wellington Caretakers and Cleaners Union. No one has ever been charged with Ernie’s murder.

"The bombing of the Hall was a direct attack on democracy in New Zealand aimed to destabilising the union movement and the values it promotes. It occurred in a climate promoted by the Government of the day where unions and their members were portrayed in negative terms and personal attacks on union leaders was a normal affair. It is uncertain that any lessons were learned regarding the danger of this kind of unprincipled rhetoric and while the nature of attacks on workers rights to organise may have changed, the underlying theme of reducing rights for workers in New Zealand has continued a pace."CTU president Helen Kelly said.

“Ernie was an ordinary man who believed that we all should have the right to a safe work place with decent pay and conditions. He paid the ultimate price for those beliefs.” Kelly said.

“We honour the thousands of everyday heroes who stand up for justice and equality. Ernie was one of these heroes and that’s why we’ll always remember him”.

“Today we remember Ernie, and trade unionists all over the world, who have died fighting for the rights of others.”


CTU welcomes launch of review into forestry safety

29th January 2014

CTU President Helen Kelly welcomes the appointment by Forest Owners, of the independent panel to conduct a major review into the appalling record of health and safety in the forestry industry.

Helen Kelly says “we are encouraged that the industry is taking leadership on this important issue and we are pleased they are working with the CTU to ensure all parties agree the process and panel.”

“We are confident the panel is strong and that the terms of reference provide leadership and direction for this important review. Employers need to encourage their workers to participate in this process in order for it to be effective. This includes encouraging workers to participate through Forestry First Union organised events to ensure all views are heard.”

“This review will take 6 months but there is much that can be done in the meantime without waiting for review outcomes. It’s time for Minister Bridges to take the health and safety of our forestry workers seriously and re-regulate the industry immediately on core issues such as hours and conditions of work.”


How many more forestry workers need to die Mr Bridges?

19 December 2013

CTU renews demands for immediate interim regulation in forestry after reports that a 20 year old man was struck by a falling tree and killed this morning in a forestry block near Levin.

Helen Kelly, CTU President says “how many more have to die before the Government starts taking this seriously enough to act and properly regulate to keep our forestry workers safe at work?”

“The industry has failed to act and the Government has relied on its inadequate ACOPs for too long. This industry needs immediate interim regulation of its employment and safety practices to put a stop to the carnage.”

“Today’s fatality makes ten deaths in our forests this year alone. That’s ten families who are dealing with the loss of a loved one and communities who are sharing that hurt.”


SIT Settlement gives members some Christmas cheer

17th December 2013

TIASA members at SIT have voted overwhelmingly to ratify the settlement of their collective employment agreement.

The term of the Agreement is two years, with a 1.5% salary increase, backdated to 1st July 2013 and a further 1.5% from 1st July 2014.

TIASA Chief Executive Peter Joseph; hailed the settlement as “a victory for common sense and good relationships”.

SIT have rushed the changes through so that TIASA members receive their increases and back pay, for Christmas.


Select Committee Didn’t Listen re Employment Law Changes

11 December 2013

Despite over 12,000 submissions making it clear the Governments proposed Employment Law changes are unfair and will drive wages down, the Select Committee report released today shows it has failed to listen to the working people of this country.

“With 50% of kiwis saying they are having trouble making ends meet, 46% of Kiwis not even getting a pay increase last year and recent reports of working families living below the poverty line, it is unbelievable the Government would continue with these very bad proposals” Helen Kelly, CTU President said.

In its report back today the Government majority on the Select Committee, has recommended virtually no change and instead continues to support the removal of the lunch and tea break, the ability of employers to refuse to conclude a collective agreement in bargaining, and to not offer new workers coverage and has even extended the plans to remove employment security from the country’s cleaning and catering staff further than originally proposed.

“This law breaches international obligations and is unfair on working people in this country” Helen Kelly said.

“While Mr Bridges continues to state the current law favours workers, the reality of the prevalence of low paid, insecure and dangerous work speaks otherwise and for the Government to make that situation worse, shows it has no mercy for working people”.

“This Government is making a clear political choice to victimise those that make this economy run. The Government’s attitude that workers are a commodity and that low wages are desirable, is not in the interests of the over 70% of Kiwis who get their main source of income from wages. We are calling on the Prime Minister to listen to us, to ignore the Select Committee and pull this Bill, in the interests of all Kiwi mums and dads.”

TIASA Tribute to Nelson Mandela

10 December 2013

Finding words to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela is very difficult. Pretty much everything that could be said about him has already been said. He has been variously hailed as an inspiration, excoriated as a terrorist, lauded as a visionary, lampooned as a fool, admired as a towering figure, decried as naïve, held up as a luminous figure of hope, scorned as a sell-out, criticised as distant, and saluted as the architect of peace and reconciliation, some sort of latter-day saint. Somewhere in amongst all these and the many other things said about him must have been the human being, the ordinary, fallible person that Mandela himself said he was – no less and no more than that. I would love to have met this man who inspired so many, but never had that privilege. But I did meet many of his compatriots and comrades in the struggle against apartheid: members of the banned South African union movement, members of the banned ANC and other liberation groups, men and women of courage and conviction, some of whom had been, or would in the future be, imprisoned, tortured, and some, murdered by the South African secret police for their bravery in challenging a cruel and unjust system of racial oppression. Today is International Human Rights Day, a fitting day indeed to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, and all those whom he inspired to join in the long and brutal journey towards liberation, freedom and equality. Along with millions of others around the world, I can celebrate and mourn what he was, what he symbolised, and what, for all his flaws, he achieved. The great Bishop Desmond Tutu, another outstanding figure who has life-long fought against injustice and for peace, says it is not blasphemous to describe Mandela as like Jesus - a another transcendent figure who was also a flawed human being trying to do his best. This seems to me a fitting tribute - that despite apparently insurmountable odds, Nelson Mandela still did his best, not just for himself, but for others. He was, and is, an example for the rest of the world. May he, wherever he may now be, rest in peace. Amandla, arohanui, Madiba.

Shelley Weir

TIASA National President


Asset Sale Referendum opens on Friday 22nd November.

15 November 2013

The referendum on asset sales will take place, by postal ballot, from Friday 22nd November and closing on Friday 13th December.

The referendum question is:

“Do you support the Government selling up to 49% of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?”

There are excellent resources available through the Electoral Commission website http://www.elections.org.nz/

We encourage ALL members, (and their families) to vote in this referendum.


Members unanimously ratify BOPP Collective Agreement Settlement with huge “TIASA only” benefit.

6 November 2013

The two year agreement unanimously ratified by TIASA members at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic (BOPP) provides for a 1% salary increase backdated to 1st August 2013, followed by a further 1.25% in August next year.

Huge increase to Redundancy entitlement

The major component of the settlement is the considerable increase to the maximum redundancy entitlement – up from 12 weeks to 44 weeks. “This has been a contentious issue for many years and, it is particularly pleasing to have achieved this settlement at a time when funding and staffing reviews are causing such uncertainty” said TIASA Chief Executive and Lead Advocate, Peter Joseph.

TIASA only!!

To be eligible for the increased redundancy entitlement, an employee must have been a TIASA member for at least 12 months at the time that their position is declared surplus. Should a person resign from TIASA, their maximum redundancy entitlement reverts to 12 weeks.

Membership doesn’t cost – it pays!


NMIT Members vote to ratify two year agreement

5 November 2013

NMIT TIASA members have voted to ratify the settlement of their collective agreement, for a two year term.

Bargaining to renew the collective agreement, which expired in May this year, has been both difficult and emotional.

Difficult due in part to the low level of settlement of the Academic (TEU) Collective (1% + 1%) and emotional, because of the unexpected death of James Oxnam (Branch stalwart and member of TIASA negotiating team) shortly after the conclusion of Day One of bargaining.

The settlement will see TIASA members receive a 1.15% increase backdated to 2 May 2013 and a further 1% from 2 May 2014. This will increase to 1.5% if NMIT reaches a 3% surplus for 2014 and, achieve the 2013 investment plan objectives.

An addition 0.5% one-off bonus is payable if NMIT reach a 5% surplus.

NMIT did not have any claims to reduce or change current conditions.


Acknowledging Labour Day

23 October 2013

As we look forward to enjoying Labour Day, one of the 11 Public Holidays that we have as a country, we should take a moment to reflect on how this holiday was achieved and, what it celebrates.

The eight hour working day that Labour Day celebrates is no longer a reality for many working people – and while for TIASA members, the “normal hours of work” are 7.5 hours per day, workloads and other pressures mean that many work much longer hours just to get the work done.

We should not take for granted, as many non-union members do, the paid holiday that those workers/unions that came before us, fought to achieve. We need to now, more than ever, think about how many current work practices (casualisation etc) and the unfair employment law changes that the current government is proposing, erodes the conditions that have been hard won.

Have a safe and enjoyable Labour weekend but … remember the challenges ahead.

We hope that your non-union colleagues who benefit from Labour Day that was fought for and won by unions, acknowledge and thank you for that.


TIASA Member shares in prize draw – Wins iPad

14 October 2013

The recent member benefit survey conducted by KPMG on behalf of EBS (Educational Benevolent Society) has resulted in a win for a TIASA member at Unitec.

The survey which had some real issues with regard to entry into the prize draw for the iPad (4 of them) was finally resolved. With more than 6,000 members of the various Education Unions participating, it was a great result to have one of the prizes go to a TIASA member.

Congratulations and thanks to all of you who completed the survey.


Government now targeting Councils of Universities and Wananga

3 October 2013

The Government has announced a review of the composition of Councils of Universities and Wananga.

The stated rationale of ‘flexibility’ and placing an emphasis on skills and experience will result in current representation of students and staff being removed, if the proposed model is accepted.

Tertiary Minister, Stephen Joyce, has proposed a model that could see half the Council comprised of ministerial appointments.

Consultation on these important changes is brief, and will close on Tuesday 12th November 2013.


Complete EBS benefits survey and be in to win iPad mini

13 September 2013

TIASA members, along with members of other Education Unions, are being invited to participate in a survey, conducted by KPMG, to ascertain their view of insurance benefits, and experience with insurance companies, including EBS.

The Educations Benevolent Society (EBS) is a non-profit body that only members of the Education Unions can join. The current review is aimed at identifying opportunities to improve services/benefits to members.

Those who complete the brief survey will be in a draw to win one of four iPad minis, valued at $479 each.


TIASA President warns Parliamentary Select Committee of the adverse consequences of the proposed law changes

11 September 2013

TIASA’s National President, Shelley Weir, provided Parliament’s Transport & Industrial Relations Select Committee with a very clear picture of the adverse consequences for employees; employment relationships, and the economy, if the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is passed into law.

Shelley Weir and Peter Joseph (TIASA Chief Executive) appeared before the Select Committee yesterday to speak to TIASA’s submissions on the Bill. The Select Committee was reminded of the appalling behaviour of some tertiary sector employers when similar employment legislation (the Employment Contracts Act) was enacted in the 1990’s and, how those employers “exploited and relished the opportunities and freedoms to behave as they wished and, saw no moral, practical, philosophical or legal reason to relinquish those”.

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana

While TIASA’s Submission addressed all aspects of the Bill, the emphasis was on the damage that the legislative amendments will do to collective bargaining and to constructive relationships that we have worked very hard to develop.


WINTEC members ratify

5 August 2013

TIASA members covered by the WINTEC/TIASA Allied Staff Collective Agreement, today voted overwhelmingly to ratify the settlement reached by the parties in bargaining.

The Negotiations, which commenced in April, have provided some flexibility in the days of work – existing staff however will not have their hours changed other than by agreement and, such agreement must be genuine.

The settlement is for two years, with a 1.5% salary increase from today and, a further 2% from 15th May next year.

Those TIASA members covered by this agreement as of 1st August also receive a lump sum payment.

“This is a particularly good settlement given the current environment” said TIASA Chief Executive, Peter Joseph. “The term of agreement also provides both parties with stability and certainty.”


Tena koutou katoa, – 30 July 2013

Ka mihi atu ki a koe e te Kuru Pounamu,

Kua mamae nei to matou Ngakau,

Ko whiturangitia e koe ki te Atua,

Ko te Atua to piringa,

Ka puta, Ka ora e koe,

Ma te Atua e manaaki


Na te Hononga, Apiha Whakahaere

It is with great shock and deep sadness that we advise that TIASA’s NMIT Branch Chair, James Oxnam, passed away suddenly yesterday evening.

James was a committed TIASA stalwart and he spent his last day on earth yesterday working for the betterment of allied staff as part of TIASA’s collective bargaining team at NMIT. This was typical of James, he always put others’ concerns ahead of any of his own. He was a strong supporter of unions and their value and was always there to fight for justice and a fair deal.

Throughout his time at NMIT James made an enormous contribution in his TIASA role and his sudden tragic loss will leave a huge gap.

Our hearts, thoughts and aroha go out to James’ wife, children and whanau at this sad time,

Shelley Weir, National President

Peter Joseph, Chief Executive


CTU Women’s Conference forced to change venue – 24 July 2013

Damage to the Mercure Hotel on Willis Street, as a result of Wellington’s earthquake last weekend, have forced the CTU to seek an alternative venue for the Biennial Women’s Conference scheduled for 26th and 27th July.

The Conference will now be held at Brentwood Hotel and conference delegates are being accommodated at various Hotels/Motels around Wellington.

TIASA will be represented at the conference by Jenni Tupu (Vice President) and Carla Goebel (Women’s Representative).


Loss of a Leader – Mitai Rolleston - 16th of July 2013

Te toa Taumata Rau…

Kua ngaro te tahi Totara ki te po,

Whakangaro atu ra ki te po e,

Haere, haere, haere atu ra e te rangatira.


Bravery has many resting places …

We have lost another Strong leader, to the night (heaven),

Lost to the night (heaven)

Farewell, Farewell, farewell (Sir, Chief, rangatira).


It is with much sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Ngati Whakaue Kaumatua, Mitai Rolleston.

TIASA has been privileged to have Mitai leading the formal powhiri/welcome to open our Biennial Conferences, in Rotorua, for the last decade.

His delightful smile, humour, and warmth of welcome, ensured that everyone immediately felt at ease.

Mitai was not only a leader of his people, he was a visionary who worked tirelessly for all people in the Rotorua community. His considerable community involvement touched and improved the lives of many and he was recently recognised with a community service award. His one true passion was education.

Mitai has left a lasting legacy and will be missed.

Haere ra e te rangatira


Increased support for TIASA members – 17th of July 2013

Representation of Allied Staff has been strengthened with additional of Employment/Legal Advisors.

We are delighted to advise that Tracey Gallagher has been contracted to carry out Employment Relations Advisor role in Auckland. Tracey has considerable experience in the employment law, union and HR and will be a tremendous asset.

We are also delighted to welcome Emma Miles to TIASA. Emma will be based at the TIASA National Office and will, in her Employment Relations Advisor role, have responsibility across the sector. While new to unions, Emma has an employment law background which will stand TIASA and her in good stead.


Increase in Parental Leave Payments - 10th July 2013

Parental Leave Payments increased from 1st of July, 2013. The maximum amount now available to eligible employees is $488.17 (gross) per week.


Medical Certificates under review - 10th July 2013

The Medical Council of New Zealand is currently reviewing its statement/position on Medical Certificates.


The council’s proposed changes include:

The full Medical Council of New Zealand review proposal can be found at http://www.mcnz.org.nz/


Whakanuia Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2013

Celebrate Māori Language Week 2013

Kia Ora Koutou,

TIASA Te Hononga is celebrating Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori

1st Hōngongoi (July) – 7th Hōngongoi, 2013

The theme of Maori Language week 2013 is

‘Ngā ingoa Maori, Maori names’

Want to learn more about basic Maori pronunciation? Then check this out

http://hedc.otago.ac.nz/whakahuatanga/

Mauri Ora


Union Member only Settlement at Awanuiarangi - 10th May 2013

A union member only, 2% salary increase backdated to 1st January 2013, was the main component of a settlement package unanimously ratified by TIASA members at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi today.

The settlement is for a one year term and covers both TIASA and TEU members – it is a multi-union collective agreement. TIASA is the major union at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi.


NorthTec TIASA Members Receive Bonus - 6th May 2013

As part of last year’s collective agreement settlement, TIASA and NorthTec Chief Executive, Paul Binney agreed that a 0.5% lump sum payment would be made to TIASA members if the institute achieved a $1.4m surplus for 2012.

The reported surplus was just under the agreed target however, Chief Executive Paul Binney acknowledged that there were extraordinary issues that were not foreseen at the time of the agreement with TIASA and has, with the support of his Council, authorised the payment.

Congratulation to all concerned.


Celebrating May Day/TIASA Day - 1st May 2013

Millions of workers around the globe are celebrating May Day (International Workers Day).

For most, it is recognised as a public holiday.

TIASA Branches throughout New Zealand have, for many years, celebrated May Day as ‘TIASA Day’, acknowledging TIASA’s achievements for Allied staff for over 45 years and for being the ‘Specialist voice for Allied Staff in the tertiary sector’.

Many Branches are holding morning teas or lunches for members, presenting awards, and promoting the value of TIASA membership.


CTU Media Release - 26th April 2013

Employment Relations Bill will cut workers' pay.

The Bill introduced today to destroy collective bargaining is a direct attack on the wages and conditions of those who go to work every day in this country.

Helen Kelly, CTU President says "these changes make it easier for employers to cut pay and conditions. They will increase inequality and make it harder for working families to get by."

"The Government's Cabinet paper admits these changes will make it easier for employers to pay workers less."

"The Bill weakens collective bargaining and will exclude new employees from collective coverage at the time they are most vulnerable - when they start a new job. Employers can favour individual agreements and refuse to conclude a collective agreement. This Bill will further reduce pay and conditions for New Zealand workers, especially for low paid, vulnerable workers. These changes are unfair on working Kiwis."

"The Government is hiding the real effect by using pretty words like flexibility and choice, but this Bill even removes the tea break. No one will be fooled that this is anything but a license to exploit working people. This law will breach our international obligations and the CTU will be taking a complaint to the International Labour Organisation about it. The Bill also puts some of our trade agreements at risk."

"Working life is hard enough for many Kiwis at the moment. Many families are struggling to keep up with the cost of living, even with low inflation. This Bill will hurt these families more than it helps, and will take us back close to what applied under the despised Employment Contracts Act. We are standing against this Bill."

"We will be campaigning against these changes, and pushing for employment laws that encourage collective bargaining as the way to higher wages and productive and safe workplaces, not changes that undermine bargaining and make it even harder for workers to get ahead," said Helen Kelly.

ENDS

For further comment contact:

Helen Kelly, CTU President 021 776 741 or 04 8023812

Georgina McLeod, CTU Communications and Campaigns 0275016880 or 04 8023817


Changes at The Top - 22nd April 2013

Te Wananga o Aotearoa announced today the appointment of Jim Mather to the position of Chief Executive.

Jim currently heads Maori TV and, during his 9 years as their Chief Executive, the organisation has amassed many significant achievements, including huge audience growth; financial surpluses and an excellent internal culture.

He will bring a freshness and breath of experience to the tertiary sector, that will be welcomed.


UNITEC Settles - 8th April 2013

TIASA members at UNITEC brought the long running negotiations to an end when they voted by majority to ratify the settlement proposal arrived at through mediation.

Click here to read entire news item


AUT Settlement – Signed, Sealed & Delivered - 11th March 2013

TIASA members have voted overwhelmingly to ratify to the settlement proposal for the Allied Staff Collective Agreement.

While members would have preferred a higher salary increase, members voted to ratify a settlement that was in line with settlements at other universities and, more importantly, protected existing conditions.

“The relatively low settlements for Academic staff across the University sector, including the TEU settlement at AUT just prior to our bargaining, was not helpful but, the Collective was strengthened by the addition of Security and Cafeteria staff to the coverage of the agreement,” said TIASA Chief Executive and lead Advocate, Peter Joseph.

Members have received the new rates and back pay.


Celebrating International Women’s Day - 8th March 2013

Today is International Women’s Day and as Union members, we acknowledge and recognise that TIASA remains the strong, “specialist voice” for Allied Staff in the tertiary sector because of the amazing efforts of women activists.

While we celebrate this significant day, we are mindful that women and men continue to fight for better workplaces, job security, fair pay and conditions of employment.

Funding cuts, staffing reviews, and attempts to undermine our collective agreements and, union membership, remain a challenge for all of us.

We proudly acknowledge International Women’s Day and the role of women in the union movement.


Shock As WITT Boss Set To Leave

Staff were in tears and Taranaki business leaders were stunned at the shock announcement the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki's (Witt) chief exceutive Richard Handley would soon be out of a job. Click here to read entire news item


Specialist Voice of Allied Staff Acknowledged

Despite staff losses as a result of reviews at a number of tertiary institutes, TIASA membership is going against the trend and is growing – if only slightly. Click here to read entire news item


National Office News

TIASA Te Hononga - Celebrates Te Wiki O Te Reo Maori

23rd Hōngongoi – 29th Hōngongoi 2012

Maori Language Week is being celebrated throughout New Zealand/Aotearoa from 23rd July to 29th July. Click here to read entire news item

Check this out …… watch it on You Tube

More information on Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori 2012 can be found here

Have a wonderful Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori – love the language.

Media Releases

CTU News

Select Committee Didn’t Listen re Employment Law Changes

11 December 2013

Despite over 12,000 submissions making it clear the Governments proposed Employment Law changes are unfair and will drive wages down, the Select Committee report released today shows it has failed to listen to the working people of this country.

“With 50% of kiwis saying they are having trouble making ends meet, 46% of Kiwis not even getting a pay increase last year and recent reports of working families living below the poverty line, it is unbelievable the Government would continue with these very bad proposals” Helen Kelly, CTU President said.

In its report back today the Government majority on the Select Committee, has recommended virtually no change and instead continues to support the removal of the lunch and tea break, the ability of employers to refuse to conclude a collective agreement in bargaining, and to not offer new workers coverage and has even extended the plans to remove employment security from the country’s cleaning and catering staff further than originally proposed.

“This law breaches international obligations and is unfair on working people in this country” Helen Kelly said.

“While Mr Bridges continues to state the current law favours workers, the reality of the prevalence of low paid, insecure and dangerous work speaks otherwise and for the Government to make that situation worse, shows it has no mercy for working people”.

“This Government is making a clear political choice to victimise those that make this economy run. The Government’s attitude that workers are a commodity and that low wages are desirable, is not in the interests of the over 70% of Kiwis who get their main source of income from wages. We are calling on the Prime Minister to listen to us, to ignore the Select Committee and pull this Bill, in the interests of all Kiwi mums and dads.”


Unions Respond to Review of Retirement Income

9 October 2013

Unions have responded today to the release of the draft Review of Retirement Income Policy.

Peter Conway, CTU Secretary, says that “it is in all of our interests to ensure that we have a sustainable policy to support decent retirement incomes”.

“The recommendations that lift the age of entitlement to NZ Superannuation over a long period and change the indexation method will raise concerns among workers about the adequacy of retirement income even though measures have been included to address those most adversely affected”, said Peter Conway.

“The proposal to dilute the indexation to the average wage runs a severe risk of reducing the value of NZ Super payments over time”.

“However”, he said, “unions will support the recommendations that the Government take on KiwiSaver contributions for workers on paid parental leave and that proposals are developed with unions and employers to support older workers”.

The CTU supports maintaining NZ Super in the current format, lifting the top tax rate to generate additional income, and boosting the level of employer contributions to KiwiSaver to 6 percent phased in over 3 years.

Peter Conway said that there is mounting concern that the combined effect of low wages, insecure work, falling levels of home ownership, and high levels of personal debt will make it very difficult for people to save and plan for a reasonable standard of living in retirement.


CTU report finds over 635,000 New Zealand workers in insecure work

9 October 2013

The CTU releases its report into insecure work, Under Pressure: Insecure Work in New Zealand at its Biennial Conference – Fairness at Work, held today in Wellington. CTU President, Helen Kelly says “whether we call it casualisation, precarious work, temporary, or non-standard work – it means that workers have worse conditions, less security, less say and are more vulnerable. That may suit the boss – but it is unfair and does not work for workers.”

“Our report shows that at least 30% of New Zealand’s workers – over 635,000 people including 192,000 temporary workers – are in insecure work. We believe it may well cover 50% of the workforce because we know that 95,000 workers have no usual work time, 61,000 workers have no written employment agreement, 573,000 workers earn less than the Living Wage and almost a quarter of a million Kiwi workers say they have experienced discrimination, harassment or bullying at work. Some of these will add to the 30% level.”

Helen Kelly says “insecure work for most people means their lives are dominated by work: waiting for it, looking for it, worrying when they don’t have it. They often don’t have paid holidays – which can mean no holidays at all. They lose out on family time. They often don’t have sick leave. They are vulnerable if they try to assert their rights or raise any concerns. They are exposed to dangerous working conditions and have to accept low wages. They can’t make commitments – to family time, to sports teams, to community or church activities, to mortgages, or even to increasing their skills, this is not the kind of working life most kiwi’s want.”

“The stories from workers in our report show that when there are no guaranteed hours or protections of secure work, workers are often fearful that they may lose hours or even lose their job if they stand up for their rights. This kind of work often leaves workers feeling they are not wanted, not valued, not really needed. It is damaging for them, for their families and for our communities.”

Helen Kelly says we need to change to make working life decent and secure for more Kiwi workers.

“We need to have more legal protections to prevent people being trapped in insecure work. We need to make sure our income support mechanisms are working for insecure workers and that employers agree to a Living Wage with more security of hours. We need the Government to step up around procurement so that big public projects engage workers in a way that they have job and income security and, we need to strengthen union campaigns and bargaining to support secure work.”


Department of Labour Advice Shows Employment Law Changes Unfair

The Regulatory Impact Statement on the government’s next proposed employment law changes released by Treasury today shows that that the changes favour employers, reduce work rights and probably breach international undertakings, says CTU President Helen Kelly. Click here to read entire news item

26 for Babies – Coalition Launched To Extend Paid Parental Leave

Parliament last night voted Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill to increase Paid Parental Leave from 14 to 26 weeks through to the Select Committee process. Click here to read entire news item

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