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One week's consultation too short for 'good faith'

Media Release September 11th, 2000

One week's consultation too short for 'good faith'

Allowing just one week for public submissions on the proposed code of good faith for collective bargaining under the Employment Relations Act is not within the spirit of the new law, says the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern).

"Employers are anxious that the new law be given every chance to work," said Peter Tritt, EMA's manager of Employment Relations.

"We can't afford to have this critical code rushed through, without proper consideration and without consensus.

"The draft code raises many issues that need careful consideration.

"It also includes many proposals for which consensus has not been achieved.

"If the code doesn't get these issues right we could end up wasting a lot of time and money in court trying to remedy its defects.

"Some proposals put forward go beyond what the law says. For example, one clause says the parties must "intend to reach an agreement", whereas the Act specifically states there is no requirement to conclude an agreement.

"Another clause suggests imposing Treaty of Waitangi considerations on private sector employers whereas the Act does not provide for this.

"We urge the committee to adopt only those parts which have been agreed by consensus.

"We also urge Labour Minister Margaret Wilson to honour her promise that the code was to be developed through consensus and that she would not impose it on employers and employees."

Further comments: Peter Tritt Tel 09 367 0921 (bus) 025 796 807

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