Author: E tū

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.