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

 

FPAs move to close inequality gap

FPAs move to close inequality gap & Workers voice support for FPAs

Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) will set out minimum terms and conditions of employment that will cover all workers within entire industries. The working group tasked with debating exactly what this would look like has just released its report of recommendations to the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway.

FIRST Union General Secretary Dennis Maga says FPAs have the potential to end what are huge disparities in wages in several industries.
There’s pay disparity between workers who do the same kinds of work in many of the industries where we have membership. An example is retail; supermarket checkout operators all perform the same work but wages vary widely (even within the same local communities) depending on whether you happen to work at a unionised supermarket or not. In the bus industry, bus operators compete for tenders and win based on who pays the lowest wages - this too could be amended through an FPA for the bus industry and bus operators would be forced to compete on which operator provides the best quality service rather than which company pays their workers lowest pay.”

Mr Maga says FPAs will restore some bargaining power to workers that has been lost.
What we will see when FPAs come into effect is that working people will be better off. What we will see are higher wages and better working conditions that will allow people to live a better quality of life, that will allow you more freedom to decide when and how you work.”

He says FPAs are an exciting opportunity for New Zealand to finally improve our bleak industrial landscape.
A huge number of New Zealand workers don't receive a pay rise in any given year, due to lack of access to unions and lack of negotiation power on individual employment agreements. This, over time has led to New Zealand wages being lower than many of the OECD countries we traditionally align ourselves to such as Australia. FPAs will help lift wages in entire sectors of our economy, which will benefit everyone in the country.

Truck driver Neal Allport says over the years, a lot has changed for workers.
“Around 30 years ago I was on $750 a week, in today’s terms that would be over $2000 - $3000 a week and that was enough to live off and pay for a mortgage that had an interest of 20%! There’s just no way people can do that now. Wages just haven’t kept up with living. Over all the years, the prices of trucks, diesel etc. have gone up, it’s become a competition about how low each can go on wages. We need to get this industry in better condition rather than just bums on seats with cowboy operators because anyone can drive a truck but how many are professionals? A Fair Pay Agreement would mean workers get a fair and reasonable rate for the job we do. The skill level will lift when the pay rates do. Nowadays there is no encouragement, no wages, licensing is expensive; who wants to do it? Higher pay rates would mean we wouldn’t have to work longer hours; we could spend more time with family and more people would be attracted to the industry again.”

Retail worker Jackie Holt says an FPA in her industry could make life a lot easier.
“Having an industry standard of fair pay means that those, like myself, who work in a supermarket, are able to ensure that our lives are a little less stressful and fulfilled. It would mean we could afford not only the necessities but also pay our bills on time, run our vehicle and hopefully afford an annual holiday. It could afford us with the opportunity to save towards retirement and also for the unexpected needs that might and do happen.”

Retail worker Sharon Taurua says an FPA could take some of the pressure off finances.
“Supermarket workers have been underpaid for far too long. There are a lot of us in this situation finding it difficult to make ends meet, after working a 40hr PLUS week. The income for a working week just covers rent, power, food & petrol, with no allowance for necessities such as doctors, insurance, car maintenance etc. A Fair Pay Agreement would mean better living conditions and a little financial security.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels