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Labour’s employment policy recognises tough times

October 26, 2008
For Immediate Use

Labour’s employment policy recognises tough times ahead for NZers

“Labour’s employment relations policy recognises that New Zealand workers are facing a very difficult period as the world is battered by the worst economic crisis since the 1930s,” says Public Service Association National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

“As the country’s largest union* we welcome the policy of providing a guaranteed redundancy payment for workers who lose their jobs because of restructuring,” says Richard Wagstaff.

“We also support ensuring workers are given notice of redundancy and that government agencies are notified of upcoming redundancies so they can provide prompt support for laid off workers.”

Richard Wagstaff says the PSA is also pleased that Labour’s policy recognises that the only way for workers to ensure they have fair pay and working conditions is through collective bargaining.

“We welcome the aspects of Labour’s policy that promote collective bargaining such as greater statutory support for multi-employer collective bargaining, says Richard Wagstaff.

“Having multi-employer collective agreements covering workers at district health boards, such as mental health nurses and allied health professionals, has benefited both the workers and their employers.”

“It has enabled us to establish more consistent pay and working conditions for staff across the country,” says Richard Wagstaff.

He says the PSA also supports Labour’s policy of helping New Zealand’s lowest paid workers by having guaranteed adjustments to the minimum wage to keep pace with inflation or increases in the average wage - whichever is the greater. And the policy of ensuring that casual and contract workers have the same rights as workers in more secure employment.

“In the tough times we face we need to ensure we are doing all we can to help New Zealanders who are on low wages and who are in vulnerable work situations, such as contract workers and those in casual employment,” says Richard Wagstaff.

*The PSA is New Zealand’s largest union with 57,000 members working in the public sector, including local government.


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