May 23, 2005
5% for most workers
The vast majority of EPMU members are getting pay rises of at least five per cent, latest statistics show.
The union launched its Fair Share – Five in ’05 campaign on February 27 for a minimum five per cent pay rise for all working people.
Since then, it has negotiated and settled collective agreements with 144 companies, of which 137, or 95 per cent, have included pay rises of five per cent or more. Four companies have settled at rates between four per cent and five per cent, and three with rates below four per cent.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said that the statistics were clear evidence that five per cent was now the going rate for pay settlements.
“The fact that the overwhelming majority of unionised workers in the manufacturing sector are getting five per cent pay rises shows what you can do when you join forces around clear, achievable demands,” he said.
Mr Little said that there were exceptional circumstances in the case of the seven agreements that the union had settled below five per cent.
“Either the employer has proved to us that five per cent is just not viable in that business, or the pay rise is part of a wider package which delivers other benefits to the workers,” he said.
For example, the union has this week settled a dispute at the Sleepyhead bed factory in Auckland for a four per cent pay rise plus time-and-a-half for overtime.
“Those workers regularly work 15 or 16 hours’ overtime a week, but haven’t been paid overtime rates since the early 1990s,” he said.
“For them, being paid overtime will put an extra 20 per cent in their pay packets on top of the four per cent pay rise.”