Month: June 2018

E tū “deeply relieved” after flight NZ5018 lands safely

A rare and frightening aviation emergency has ended with crew and passengers safe, after Air New Zealand flight NZ5018’s engine malfunctioned mid-flight.

The engine failure happened shortly after the Napier-Auckland flight took off this afternoon. It touched down safely shortly after.

E tū Head of Aviation Anita Rosentreter has been monitoring the situation and says that the most important thing is that the passengers and crew are safe.

“We are deeply relieved that this incident has ended with a safe landing,” Anita says.

“This will have been a scary experience for the crew and passengers on board. Although this incident will be the subject of a rigorous process to find out exactly what happened, the most important thing for now is that the plane is safely on the tarmac.

“We will be ensuring that our members affected by this emergency have all the support needed to deal with the aftermath.”

Anita says there will be many questions about how this incident occurred and that the union will be closely involved in the process from here.

“We don’t have any further details at this early stage, but we will be representing our members every step of the way.

“Union participation is a vital part of getting health and safety right in any workplace. We are pleased that our relationship with the company means we can work constructively together to minimise risks and respond appropriately when things go wrong.

“This emergency has not become an aviation disaster. I think that’s a huge testament to the crew onboard. One passenger has already been reported in the media saying the flight attendants were ‘brilliant, calm, and reassuring.’ I think that’s the mark of an excellent workforce.”

ENDS

For more information or comment:

Anita Rosentreter 022 240 9638

Equal pay for mental health support workers

Mental health and addiction support workers have been rewarded for their patience – with their long fight for equal pay finally over.

The Government has confirmed the care and support settlement will be extended to these workers.

An estimated 5000 workers will get a pay rise, backdated to 1 July 2017, the date of the original $2 billion settlement.

“Our members in mental health and addiction support were unfairly left out of the original settlement,” PSA Assistant National Secretary Kerry Davies says.

“The mental health and addiction support sector urgently needs more staff, and this should help to recruit and retain skilled and dedicated workers.

“The Labour-led Government has made good on its commitment to work with unions and employers to deliver where the National Government failed.

“Our members stood together and now they’re getting what they deserve.”

PSA Mental Health Committee co-convenor Pollyanna Alo says mental health and addiction support workers like her will feel valued for the work they do.

“This means everything to me,” she says.

“Now support workers throughout New Zealand are able to feed their families, put petrol in the car and just enjoy a little bit of luxury without a stranglehold on their finances.”

E tū Equal Pay Coordinator, Yvette Taylor says the deal is a promise kept by the new Government.

“We know from speaking to our members in this sector that many earn too little to live decently. This will be a relief, and a recognition of the vital work they do in our communities.

“The Government has made mental health a priority and valuing these workers is crucial to the success of these services.”

Ratification meetings for all mental health and addictions support workers will now be held around New Zealand so workers can vote on the settlement.

“We would urge everyone to attend to hear about and vote on this historic offer,” Ms Taylor and Ms Davies say.

For further information, contact:

Yvette Taylor Equal Pay Coordinator E tū ph. 027 431 8486

 

E tū awaits Living Wage for Govt contract workers

E tū has welcomed the Government’s decision to move all directly employed workers in the core public service to a wage rate of at least $20.55 – the 2018 Living Wage.

However, the union says the Living Wage needs to be extended to contract workers who also work in the core public service.

E tū Campaign Lead Organiser, Yvette Taylor says the lift in pay is great news for the nearly 2000 workers who will benefit.

“We welcome the Government’s decision to honour its election commitment to move directly employed public servants to the Living Wage,” says Yvette.

“This is a major step towards improving the pay of people whose wages are too low for them to live on with dignity.”

But she says a commitment was also made to the many thousands of workers contracted to the public service who won’t benefit from today’s announcement.

“During the election campaign, the Government said it would pay the Living Wage to these workers before the end of its first term and we are looking forward to them delivering on that,” says Yvette.

“Contract workers are the lowest paid people in the core public sector and if the government is serious about reducing poverty and showing leadership, it needs to be paying them the Living Wage.”

E tū delegate and security guard, Kenneth Renata is contracted to work for a core Government agency.

“It’s great the government is paying their workers the Living Wage, but I work for them as well and the hours are long and the wages low,” says Kenneth.

“The government said they would pay us the Living Wage. Now we want to see them keep their promise,” he says.

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Yvette Taylor E tū Campaign Lead Organiser ph. 027 431 8486

For interviews with Kenneth Renata, please contact:

Karen Gregory-Hunt E tū Communications Officer ph. 022 269 1170

 

 

 

 

Fair Pay Agreements: work begins

E tū welcomes the setting up of the working group on Fair Pay Agreements.

E tū’s National Director of Campaigns, Annie Newman says today’s announcement is the fulfilment of a key election promise to workers, who need greater support for their pay and conditions.

FPAs would set basic standards for pay and conditions across an entire industry, through collective bargaining by businesses and unions.

“The stories in the media every day revealing workers being ripped off show that our current employment relations system is not working,” says Annie.

“Workers in small workplaces, especially in the service sector, have very little bargaining power. Even in industries where there are labour shortages, employers are too scared to lift their pay in case another employer undermines them,” she says.

“Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards for wages and conditions and will give these workers a real say in their minimum employment conditions.”

E tū Industry Co-ordinator Jill Ovens says a particular concern is the plight of vulnerable workers such as security guards.

“We have collective agreements with the bigger security companies that provide for hours of work, training, health and safety, protections of workers’ rights if they get into trouble, and so on.

“But these companies tell us they are constantly being undercut by cowboys in the industry who have a churn of guards on individual agreements.”

Jill says E tū is working with the Security Association to improve the professionalism of workers in the industry, but that means bringing the terms and conditions of these ‘bottom feeders’ into line.

She says government entities are prominent among those rewarding tenders which cut costs, including workers’ wages and hours to the bone, in “a race to the bottom”.

Annie Newman said employers’ doom and gloom rhetoric about FPAs should be discounted as they had wrongly told people they would pave the way for industrial unrest.

“There is no right to strike for an FPA and all Agreements will be negotiated collectively,” she says.

E tū has also welcomed the inclusion on the FPA team of E tū Assistant Secretary, John Ryall.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Annie Newman E tū Director of Campaigns ph. 027 204 6340

Jill Ovens Industry Co-ordinator ph. 027 446 4966