The workers who make New Zealand’s iconic Big Ben pies are striking. FIRST Union represents approximately 30 staff, a majority, in the pie department at George Weston Foods in Wiri and has been in bargaining with the company since September last year. The company has offered two 2% increases over a 22-month term.
Hospital midwives will receive a massive pay rise after finally reaching a settlement with district health boards (DHBs). They will receive a 17.5% pay rise by August 2020, after two years of negotiation. Midwives elected to strike in November 2018 after 90% of Midwifery Employee Representation & Advisory Service (MERAS) members voted to reject the DHBs' previous pay offer. They held two-hour work stoppages every day on every shift over a two-week period to December 5. DHBS and MERAS are jointly supporting a pay equity claim and work is also underway to look at staffing levels across the sector.
The doctors' union and district health boards are at an impasse over the doctors' employment agreement which expired late February. The doctors cancelled a strike planned for 15-18 April over technical problems, before voting on a five-day strike. They have held four two-day strikes since mid January. They will walk off wards everywhere except Canterbury at 8am on Monday 29 April. At issue is DHB proposals the doctors say would strip the RDA of its power of veto over roster and other employment provisions. DHBs say they want flexibility and local control over rosters, but the union says those are clawbacks it will not agree to.
A gap remains between the $700 million increase in pay offered to primary school teachers and the union's bid for $2.5 billion. The Employment Relations Authority has described the New Zealand Educational Institute's bid for $2.5 billion more pay for teachers over four years as "completely unrealistic". Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the authority had described the government's offer of $700 million more over four years as "handsome and competitive". "They're raising some very legitimate issues, but no government is going to be able to address those overnight." The Ministry of Education's latest offer is $129 million more than the previous offer made last September. Primary teachers and principals have rejected the pay offer saying that the latest offer still did not address problems with workloads, release and leadership time, and difficulties attracting and retaining teachers. NZEI's national executive agreed over the weekend to call paid union meetings in the second week of next term (May 6-10). If there was no progress made by then, it is proposing members vote on taking partial strike action by working to rule from May 15 until a national day of strike action on May 29.
A picket organised by FIRST union was held outside Pak n Save Glen Innes, and the union says that support from the public was overwhelming and that they are hearing from Pak n’ Save and New World supermarket owners that they are given flak from other owners if they do lift wages.
E tū union members who work for IDEA, a branch of IHC New Zealand, are seeking better pay, and are unhappy about contractual terms to do with their safety at work. E tū industry coordinator Alastair Duncan said that violence in the workplace is part of the day to day. Additionally, he said IDEA were trying to erase all mention of "challenging behaviour by service users" from their collective agreement.
Medical Physicists, who provide essential radiation services to cancer patients, will begin a 13-day strike tomorrow from 12 March until 25 March after over seven months of negotiations.
Pharmacy Staff (Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmacy Assistants) at Canterbury DHB are set to commence strike action for 24 hours on 25th March. APEX union says that the last meeting between the parties was held in September 2018.
60 call-centre workers took action in Auckland in their fight to share awareness of their pay and work conditions. It became evident at a strike earlier this month that the company is more concerned over picketers’ use of an Alec Baldwin cut out than the way staff are being treated (the American actor was paid large sums to be the face of GEM Visa and his image used to be throughout the call centre offices in Auckland City). The current offer from the company is 3% which workers have been told is the one and only offer.
Union members employed by the company, which operates the Queenstown's $2 bus service, Orbus, went on strike over pay and health and safety concerns. The union was seeking a $1-per-hour pay increase.
Unless specified, all articles are summaries of articles gathered from various news publications. For full citations please click on the article heading.
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