SKYCITY Auckland, together with the Unite Union and the SFWU, have struck a landmark agreement that will see all part-time staff on collective employment agreements guaranteed a higher minimum number of hours. The agreement will see part-time and on-call staff – including the small number of employees currently on so-called ‘Zero hour’ contracts – moving to a guaranteed eight, 16, 20 or 32 hours of work each week. The ‘zero hour’ contract classification will be abolished. The new policy will come in to effect on 1 January 2016.
Controversial health and safety legislation, which does not classify farms as high risk, has passed in Parliament. The Government claims the changes will address New Zealand’s workplace safety standards, while Labour claims a watering down of the legislation will lead to additional deaths. The legislation passed by 63 votes to 59, with National, the Maori Party, ACT and United Future supporting the legislation, while Labour, the Green Party and NZ First opposed it.
Adelhelm & Associates are running a series of workshop sessions that focus on implementing these changes in companies with unionised workforces.
The agreement, signed this month between Metlifecare and the Service and Food Workers Union and NZ Nurses Organisation delivers an average pay rise of 7.7% to the workforce. The unions are hailing this settlement as the new standard for pay and conditions in the aged care sector. Metlifecare operates 25 retirement villages and 9 care facilities across New Zealand, employing over 1000 staff.
Nurses at the country’s 20 district health boards have voted to accept a new pay offer. The deal comes after an original offer was rejected in May by nurses, midwives and health care assistants covered by the multi-employer collective agreement. The New Zealand Nurses Organisation, which represents 20,000 workers at DHBs, went into mediation over the proposed deal in June. The union says the new settlement includes a 2% pay rise backdated to July 6 and a further 2% rise next July. The agreement expires at the end of July 2017.
Unite says that the proposed Bill about zero-hour contracts is actually legalising them. According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website, the Employment Standards Legislation Bill states “the employer and the employee do not have to agree on set hours if both prefer flexibility”, if the employer agrees to pay some form of compensation to the employee for being available for shifts. Mike Treen, of Unite, says that “under the law at present, a worker who is offered a shift and agrees to work must be paid for the shift if it is cancelled or they are sent home early under the new law, a compensation clause of some nominal amount could be agreed in the contract as an alternative.”
The union for oil refinery workers at Marsden Point Oil Refinery says the company should up its pay offer to staff after a spectacular half-year result. The New Zealand Refining Company has announced a net profit, after tax, of $65 million, and is offering workers a wage rise of 0.5%.
Service and Food Workers Union Industry Leader Jill Ovens said the union gave written notice of the strike after guards working for the security company ACM had left for their daily run. 28 guards walked off the job over stalled pay negotiations. Guards wanted crew leaders to get more of an increase to recognise responsibility. The company has offered all guards a 2% pay increase and a further 1.4% or CPI next year, whichever is greater.
Labour’s David Parker’s private members bill would require contractors to be paid no less than the minimum wage passed it first reading in Parliament. There are 14 areas to which this legislation would apply.
The strike and rally by 1000 members of the Meat Workers Union at AFFCO plants was called off. This came about after a meeting with MWU AFFCO Shed Delegates and Andrew Talley, organised by Iwi leaders. No agreements were reached. Workers still continue on their individual agreements. Andrew Talley promised that negotiations will be held some time in the next two months, but only with a union they approve.
Unless specified, all articles are summaries of articles gathered from various news publications. For full citations please click on the article heading.
Stay up to date
Keen to stay up-to-date with the latest collective agreement and employment relations news?
Now it’s even easier for you to stay informed. The erBuzz is the only central hub in New Zealand that collates all the latest collective ER industry updates in one handy place.