Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Hearing exposes health risks for vulnerable workers

16 May 2018

MEDIA RELEASE

Hearing exposes health risks for vulnerable workers

The health risks of insecure work have been exposed during Select Committee submissions today on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill.

The Chairperson of the Hutt Union and Community Health Service, Muriel Tunoho told the Education and Workplace Select Committee that restoring meal breaks and protections for vulnerable workers is crucial to their health and wellbeing.

“At our service, we regularly see patients whose health has suffered because they are vulnerable workers, in industries where work is precarious,” says Ms Tunoho.

Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act protects the jobs of vulnerable workers, such as cleaners and catering assistants, where retendering results in a change of contractor.

However, five years ago, an exemption was made for firms with fewer than 20 workers, resulting in many cleaners losing their jobs, while others have seen cuts to working hours, pay and conditions.

“One of our patients recently lost most of his cleaning job when some of the facilities he cleaned were tendered and awarded to a small contractor,” says Ms Tunoho.

“His weekly pay dropped from $640.00 a week to $252.00 a week. He was struggling on his old income. His new income was impossible,” she said.

Ms Tunoho says the Service welcomes the fact the bill puts all contractors on the same footing but said it would like security guards added to the list of vulnerable workers.

E tū will be making more submissions on Part 6A, given the havoc wrought by the exemption.

The union also supports the Tramways Union’s call this morning for bus drivers to be covered by Part 6A, following a tender process set to cost hundreds of bus drivers their jobs.

One driver told the Select Committee the stress of possibly losing her job, or having her hours cut was causing her headaches, insomnia and depression.

“The drivers are subject to the same retendering and contracting model which has resulted in such precarious conditions for many of our own members,” says Jill Ovens, E tū Industry Coordinator.

“Often it is local and central government entities such as schools, police and councils which are the worst offenders,” says Jill.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The M Bovis Outbreak

As the public keeps on being told, there is no risk at all to human health from cows infected with Mycoplasma bovis. In that respect, it is not at all like mad cow disease.

Even so, the M bovis outbreak is still doing the head in of Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, who will be announcing on Monday whether the government intends going down the ‘eradication’ or the ‘management’ path with respect to the outbreak. More>>

 

RNZ: Fishing Industry Lies Revealed In Leaked Report

Some of the country's biggest fishing companies have been under-reporting their hoki catch by hundreds of tonnes, according to a leaked fisheries report. The report has been kept secret from the public for seven years and environmentalists say it casts doubt on industry claims that lucrative hoki is being fished sustainably. More>>

ALSO:

Uni Cuts: VCs At Risk Of Opting Out Of Government’s Vision

Vice-Chancellors need to accept that cutting jobs to meet narrow performance metrics will do nothing to help rebuild an inclusive tertiary education sector that meets the needs of all New Zealanders, the Tertiary Education Union said today. More>>

ALSO:

DBHs v Nurses: Independent Panel Reports On Collective Agreement

The Independent Panel, which was set up to help reach a Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) between the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation and the 20 District Health Boards, has made a series of recommendations to address issues impacting settlement. More>>

ALSO:

Cannabis: Legalisation Referendum Could Happen Sooner

The Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association of Aotearoa New Zealand says any decision to hold a referendum on legalising cannabis use in 2019, rather than in an election year, would be a welcome one because the issue is too important to be treated like a political football. More>>

ALSO:

Decile Changes Kicked For Touch: Focusing School Funding On Equity For Kids

The Government is expanding work done on replacing school deciles to look more broadly at what’s needed to ensure all children, including learners from socio economically disadvantaged backgrounds, get the support they need to learn. More>>

ALSO:

Kevin Short New CDF: Defence Deployments Online

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the release today of further information on where NZDF personnel are deployed overseas... “Defence will also be proactively releasing their advice to Cabinet following future decisions on deployments and mandate.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages