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Pay more if you want staff

June 28, 2005
Media Release

Pay more if you want staff

New Zealand employers have to pay more if they want staff – and some of them are, says the union behind the Fair Share – Five in ’05 campaign.

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that New Zealand wages were low compared to similar countries, and employers were feeling the effects of that, as shown in an employment trends survey released today by Select Australasia.

“The survey shows that New Zealand employers are not doing enough to attract and retain workers – and the key issue is pay,” he said.

“Whatever employers say, the fact is that New Zealand wages are low, and workers are voting with their feet to get higher wages elsewhere – either overseas or by ratcheting up their pay by moving from company to company in New Zealand.”

Mr Little said that an unstable workforce was not good for companies or the country, and the only way to address the problem was to accept that wages had to be higher, across the board.

“That’s why we launched the Fair Share campaign, and I’m delighted that a significant number of employers have seen the sense and agreed to pay rises of at least five per cent.”

Latest settlements include :

- An 18-month a settlement at the Kapuni Gas Treatment plant, with a 4.5 per cent pay rise now and another nine per cent in six months’ time;
- A 7.25 per cent pay rise for a 15-month agreement at MCK Metals.
- A 7.25 per cent pay rise for a 16-month agreement at Inframax Construction.
- A two-year agreement at Yarrow Bakeries, with a five per cent pay rise now and another five per cent next year.


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