In a landmark case, members of FIRST Union who work at Mitre 10 Mega in Dunedin and Mitre 10 Mosgiel have achieved their first collective agreement which affords a living wage.
The is the first Collective Agreement in New Zealand history that was determined by the Employment Relations Act with a living wage being imposed on the employer.
The Employment Relations Authority determination provides a significant wage increase that will affect a substantial number of Mitre 10 workers in Dunedin and Mosgiel and it has widespread implications for other retail sites in New Zealand.
The historic settlement will see approximately 140 employees (if they join the union) at the stores receive an increase as a result of this decision. The determination states that an employee who has some industry experience or skill that they utilise in their roll should be paid no less than $21.00 per hour. For a worker with a trade qualification that increases to $23.00 per hour and the start rate is $19 per hour.
Anne Burridge is an ex-employee and ex-union delegate of Mitre 10, Mosgiel. She has participated in a substantial part of the collective bargaining including giving evidence in the 2015 Employment Court case against the employer. “This is a great win for Mitre 10 workers and we waited a long time for it. It’s brilliant also for other retail workers in New Zealand because the Employment Relations Authority has determined a living wage is a fair rate. It’s a damn site more than the minimum wages that many retail workers are currently receiving.” She said.
FIRST Union retail Secretary, Tali Williams said “This process has taken 6 years. This judgement is a vindication of the perseverance of the members who have stayed staunched throughout a period of bargaining that could have settled years ago had the company been reasonable. We now have a sensible solution for workers at Mitre 10.”