Author: E tū

Mental health workers hopeful new Government signals equal pay deal

Mental health support workers are hopeful the Labour-led Government will finally include them in the equal pay settlement.

The settlement only applies to aged care, disability, and home support workers after negotiators for the previous government refused to include support workers in mental health.

E tū’s Equal Pay Coordinator, Yvette Taylor says the situation is very unfair, but hopes are high they will finally be included.

“Jacinda made a commitment at an equal pay rally during the election campaign to equal pay for these workers and we’re looking forward to that coming to fruition really soon,” says Yvette.

Yvette says talks are already underway with health officials and looking “very positive”.

“We don’t believe the new coalition Government will throw up any barriers to this,” she says.

E tū member and mental health support worker, Sandra Rawenata says she and her colleagues are “rapt” about the new Government which has stoked hopes of a settlement.

“As soon as the Government was announced my friends and I were all over Facebook. It means a pay rise, it means we can feed our families, help our families. It means a lot of happy people,” says Sandra.

“We’re feeling hopeful out here. We’re expecting the Government to stand by what they told us at the equal pay rally and that we will be fairly paid just like our comrades in disability and aged care.”

Sandra says a settlement is crucial to stemming the loss of mental health support workers to other, better-paid care and support work.

ENDS.

For more information, contact:

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

Sandra Rawenata E tū delegate ph. 027 351 4285

 

 

E tū Aviation welcomes new Government’s rejection of low wage economy

E tū Aviation has welcomed the new Prime Minister’s call for productive relationships between business and workers, and an end to low pay and its negative economic effects.

In her speech to the Council of Trade Unions yesterday, Jacinda Ardern praised the High-Performance Engagement agreement which E tū and other unions have with Air New Zealand.

“That agreement means business and unions sit down together and help each other with their problems and the results speak for themselves,” says E tū’s Head of Aviation, Kelvin Ellis.

“Working together has saved jobs, ensured good pay and conditions and helped transform Air New Zealand into one of the world’s most successful and profitable airlines.

“The new Government has clearly drawn the lesson that working together benefits all parties, and we’re delighted with its support for this model.”

Kelvin has also welcomed Ms Ardern’s rejection of the low-wage approach of many employers which actually erodes productivity.

“Ms Ardern has correctly made the link between an engaged, well-paid workforce and Air New Zealand’s strong financial position.

“We fully support her message on this: that low wages aren’t simply a problem for low-wage workers, they are a problem for businesses and the economy as a whole.”

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Kelvin Ellis Head of E tū Aviation ph. 027 598 5735

 

 

 

E tū welcomes lift in minimum wage but goal is Living Wage

The union E tū has welcomed today’s announcement of a lift in the minimum wage but says its goal remains the Living Wage for all workers.

The increase from $15.75 an hour to $16.50 will mean more than $20.00 extra a week for minimum wage workers doing a 40-hour week.

The minimum wage will gradually increase to $20.00 by April 2021.

E tū’s National Secretary, Bill Newson says the extra money will be very welcome for these workers.

“It might not sound a lot for the privileged elite who have got a lot from the Government over the past few years. But it means a lot to ordinary working people trying to support families on low pay,” says Bill.

“Let’s remember we’re talking about a minimum and there’s a lot of evidence that shows a Living Wage today needs to be $20.20 so there is still a way to go,” he says.

Bill says the increases announced today surpass the movement in the minimum wage achieved under the previous National Government.

“It took National five years to lift the minimum wage by $3.00 an hour and it will take this Government 3 years to lift it another $4.00 – we can live with that.”

Bill says businesses might not be happy but in fact they will benefit as workers spend the extra money on local goods and services.

“Good business is about employing good people. Good business is about retaining good people. And good business is about paying people a decent wage, so this new minimum wage is good for business and workers.”

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Bill Newson E tū National Secretary ph. 027 538 4246

Fairfax axe for sports reporters another blow to regional journalism

 

E tū says a proposal by Fairfax Media to axe its entire team of 11 regional sports and racing reporters sends the message that the regions don’t matter.

E tū Industry Coordinator Communications, Joe Gallagher says the proposal is also another step towards the dismantling of professional regional journalism.

The job losses apply to all regional Fairfax newsrooms and will significantly reduce regional sports coverage on the Stuff website and in regional newspapers.

Joe says it will be a blow for the journalists involved as well as the communities they serve if the proposal proceeds.

“It’s getting harder and harder to be a journalist in the regions as jobs disappear.  In some places, the local paper is now only published three times a week, and this latest move will mean the loss of local sports coverage as well,” says Joe.

“It’s another nail in the coffin of quality journalism with the loss of good jobs as well as professional reporting standards which best serve local communities.

“It’s an abandonment of the regions where sport is an incredibly important part of life, and it’s a major blow to keeping these communities informed.”

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Joe Gallagher E tū Industry Coordinator, Communications ph. 027 591 0015

E tū: National Government’s record on health funding a fail for members

E tū says it fears health services will deteriorate further in the face of Government denials that DHBs are underfunded.

E tū is the country’s largest private sector union with more than 55,000 members.

“A lot of our members are in the Counties Manukau area, where services have been so under-funded we have the highest rate of people waiting to get eye treatment,” says Jill Ovens, E tū’s Industry Coordinator for Public and Commercial Services.

Jill says unacceptable wait times for urology services in Dunedin are also symptomatic of chronic under-funding of health care.

“Our hospitals are struggling and our members are struggling like everyone else to access basic services,” she says.

“Many members are also on low wages, living in mouldy, unhealthy homes and they and their children have high health needs.”

She says that flows through into increased demand for basic health care.

Jill says she fears wait times will grow longer as the Government insists DHBs live within their means.

“The only way they can do that is by cutting services and that will affect our members who need those services.

“In Southland, they sacked the board two years ago and put in a Commissioner and it hasn’t helped the situation at all. What’s needed is more funding and for that we need a change of Government.”

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Jill Ovens E tū Industry Coordinator, Public and Commercial Services ph.027 446 4966

The Council of Trade Unions estimates $2.3 billion is needed to restore funding for 2017/18 to 2009/10 levels.

However, the CTU says only $0.8 billion was provided so the shortfall compared to 2010 is $1.4 billion.

It means that the next Government will need to find well over $2 billion for 2018/19 if it wishes to restore the value of funding.