Komiti Pasefika, the voice of unionised Pacific Island working people in Aotearoa, is supportive of the changes to the RSE (Recognised Seasonal Employer) scheme
"People in the Pacific Islands will benefit from the move to ensure the living wage of $22.10 is the minimum people will get paid. This will enable these working people to financially support their families and contribute to their country of origin. This is especially significant given the impact of COVID on tourism in the Pacific," Komiti Pasefika Co-convenor Caroline Mareko said.
"It is totally appropriate that the costs of managed isolation are met by the employer. It is unacceptable for any of the costs of managed isolation, or travel, or accommodation, once out of isolation, to be met by the employee. We think it is important to note that the accommodation provided needs to be of a high, liveable standard - warm, dry, spacious and clean. Too often we have heard stories of slum like housing."
"RSE employers also have a duty to be providing for the health and safety needs. Employers need to be providing for PPE (personal protective equipment) as necessary. Employers also need to ensure that any relevant COVID information is provided into the relevant languages."
"Our people have workplace rights." Said Komiti Pasefika Youth Convenor, Yanah Partsch. "We believe those employers who are part of the RSE scheme should be required to provide information, in the relevant languages, to all employees. This would be best practice and something we will campaign to include with all RSE scheme employers."
"Komiti Pasefika wants to see a commitment that should either all, or part of, Aotearoa move back to a ‘lockdown’ situation that there is a plan for the safe repatriation of these working people from the Pacific," said Komiti Pasefika Convenor, Caroline Mareko.