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Productivity shows benefit of worker involvement

November 5, 2009
Media Release

Increased productivity & skills-based pay show benefits of worker involvement

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union members at Patience and Nicholson have voted unanimously to accept a new skills-based pay system developed as part of a company/worker project.

The new system is linked with national training standards for manufacturing and is part of a host of cooperative projects which have helped the company increase its productivity.

EPMU assistant national secretary Ged O’Connell says the new pay system and an earlier high performance work project show the value of consulting with frontline workers.

“We’re really pleased that the company has worked with our members to develop this pay system in a way that will bring benefits to our members in terms of financial recognition of their skills and help the company continue to be successful.

“There has also been some work done by the Centre for High Performance Work, which is a productivity unit we jointly run with the DWU, and that helped restructure a few work processes and develop team skills at the company.

“In our experience companies that bring their workers into the decision-making process get better productivity, more worker buy-in and are better focused on growing their business.”

Patience and Nicholson operations manager Rick Smith is also pleased with the results of cooperation.

“We’ve had a skills-based pay system since the mid-nineties but this was a good opportunity to update it and to make sure our employees’ skills were recognised.

“This has really been driven by employee representatives, some of whom were involved in the Council of Trade Unions’ learning reps programme and it means they are now training to national standards which is good for them and provided us with a solid framework.

“Having skills linked to pay and getting employees involved in designing the system provides a real incentive to upskill, builds trust between the company and its employees and helps make us an employer of choice.”

The new system is tagged to the Level 2 and 3 National Certificate in Manufacturing and the Level 2 National Certificate in Competitive Manufacturing.


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