ERA facilitation win for Woburn Masonic members
29 January 2020
E tū members at Woburn Masonic aged care home in Lower Hutt have won their application to the Employment Relations Authority for facilitated bargaining of their dispute with owners, Masonic Care Limited.
The union applied to the ERA for facilitation after members were unable to secure a collective agreement following nearly 12 months of talks, mediation and a series of strikes just before Christmas.
The members, who have likened their current rosters to the availability requirements of now illegal zero-hour contracts, want set shifts and hours as well as better sick leave, weekend pay rates, and long service leave.
Delegate Sela Mulitalo says the ERA decision in favour of facilitation is a big win and vindicates last year’s industrial action.
“This is a positive win for us, and we are hoping for a resolution. We didn’t know if we’d win it, because Masonic Care opposed it. And while we took strike action, we needed to have other channels to work through and that’s what we’ve got,” says Sela.
“What we are hoping for is just to be heard – for our truth to be heard, and our struggle, because we can’t live proper lives if we always have to be available to work.
“We just want a proper roster, that’s where we want the talks focussed, and not to be on call 24/7,” she says.
E tū organiser, Robert Ibell says facilitation is a chance for Masonic Care Limited to agree on conditions which respect the members and the work they do.
“We know it’s possible for the employer to run a roster that gives the members set shifts and set hours. Our members have already produced one.
“We are keen to work with the employer to make this a reality and to ensure these are decent jobs – people should know when they work, what shifts they work and what hours they’ll be working.”