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Safety first: E tū’s leadership programme for Māori, Pasefika and migrant workers takes off

Who benefits when workers share their knowledge about health and safety?

“Everyone!” says Lusia Petelo, a delegate who attended E tū’s new health and safety worker leadership programme.

July marked the end of six successful hui for E tū’s ACC-sponsored programme, Ngā Puna Whai Oranga, where more than 150 member leaders came together in cities and regions around the country.

The hui explored concepts of leadership in different cultures, and how these can be applied at work to improve health and safety on the job for workers.

It focused on workers from Māori, Pasifika or migrant backgrounds in the manufacturing sector, where injury rates are high.

Delegate Teik Lomi says it can be hard to speak out in the workplace about health and safety.

“We try to secure that job, we try to be permanent. We can’t speak up, otherwise we’re scared of being sacked or of getting into trouble.”

A successful final hui in July

Research shows that injury claims for Māori and Pasifika are higher than for other groups.

AUT’s Workplace Safety and the Future of Work report finds that Māori workers are 18% more likely and Pasifika workers 12% more likely to have to make an injury claim than European workers.

Teik says the hui covered a lot in just a day: “WorkSafe explained everything to us – about the legislation, how to keep yourself safe. We learnt about what you do in the workplace and about your rights.”

Speakers came from WorkSafe’s Māori unit, Maruiti, the Pasifika Puataunofo programme, and from the migrant group, Migrante.

Icebreaker fun

There were also lots of laughs with group activities, including a game of rugby with a water bottle to illustrate what leadership can be.

The next steps for Ngā Puna Whai Oranga will be ongoing workshops at work – both for members and leaders who attend the hui.

“When we share what we know, everyone in the workplace becomes more aware of how we look after ourselves,” Member Lusia Petelo says.

“The result of that is that you get to go home in one piece to your family and your loved ones.”

Go to etu.nz/ngapunawhaioranga to learn more.

Doing the mahi

The Year of Fair Pay Agreements

If 2021 is the ‘Year of the Vaccine’, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has put it, 2022 will be the ‘Year of Fair Pay Agreements’.

While E tū members have been campaigning for Fair Pay Agreements since before the 2017 election, we have some real momentum now, with the First Reading of the draft Fair Pay Agreement bill expected near the end of this year. Then it’s all on.

The start of 2022 will see E tū members writing submissions on the bill, supporting Fair Pay Agreements and offering ways to improve the draft legislation. In the months that follow, Fair Pay Agreements will become law and we hope to initiate the first Fair Pay Agreements before the end of 2022.

Before the submission process starts, E tū members are already lobbying their local Labour MPs by using E tū’s Fair Pay Agreement letter writing tool. Over 100 members have told MPs about their lives and why Fair Pay Agreements will improve our workplaces.

Cleaner and mother of five, Mary Gatoloai, was one of those members: “We need guaranteed hours, good wages to feed our children, we need health and safety on our work sites, and we need to stop the race to the bottom,” Mary wrote.

We are also organising around Fair Pay Agreements on the job. E tū member-organiser Jayson Ormsby has been out talking to his fellow security guards, encouraging them to join E tū to get active in the Fair Pay Agreement campaign.
“Having the backing of new recruits makes all the difference, especially in our industry, which has one of the higher turnover rates,” Jayson says.

“I talk with guards about E tū’s recent achievements, and I tell them my own story. We talk about the problems in the industry and how Fair Pay Agreements will help solve them. It’s about planting that seed – people don’t know how much of an influence their voice really has.

“The majority of guards are really positive about the idea. They understand how it will lead to a better path for their families and their jobs.”

Jayson says that his work with E tū has taught him a lot about power and politics.

“I think lot of our guards are in that age group or category where they don’t get how much influence politics really has. We see it on the news but don’t know the full impact of how it can affect us on our jobs.

“Early on someone told me that politics is everything – and it actually is. This is our movement, this is what we’re doing. We need to have that mindset. it’s hard to get anything for the lower socio-economic groups, when the powers that be are holding the keys. But the more of us that speak up and go and do the work, that’s what helps.

“For myself, I’m still learning a bit, and it’s inspiring. I’m finding things in myself, coming out of my shell, and personally growing. I like to find that spark in other people too. Getting into the nitty gritty is hard for everyone, it’s a big hill. Our job is to find the people who will do the climb with us.

“I will always remember this idea I heard early on: If you’re not going to speak up and say it, who is?”

Click here to write to your local Labour MP supporting Fair Pay Agreements!

The next digital steps for union education

One of the many lessons from the pandemic is that people and organisations need to make the best use of available technology. E tū is taking another step forward in the digital space by moving some of our union education online.

Our new online education modules, using new tools such as the Aotearoa-based service, MakeRipples, are all about making education more accessible and engaging. Although still in the pilot phase, the courses are shaping up to be a hit with those who have tried them.

E tū North Island Vice President and NZ Post delegate, Mischelle Moriarty, was part of a group of E tū National Executive members that recently tried our Fair Pay Agreement online course.

“The content of the Fair Pay Agreement module was really good – I enjoyed watching the videos and the quiz at the end gave me the confidence that I really have picked this stuff up,” Mischelle says.

“The course covered what Fair Pay Agreements are, why we need them, and who will benefit. It’s stuff that members across all industries will be interested in, especially our members in cleaning and security who are campaigning hard to have some of the first Fair Pay Agreements.”

Mischelle says the advantages of making use of technology in education are obvious.

“It’s a great way to learn. COVID has presented this real opportunity – doing more Zooms and online stuff has meant some people can participate when they usually couldn’t have, particularly if they live rurally.

“It’s all about complementing what we already do. Nothing will ever beat face-to-face conversations, and not everyone will dig the new technology, but it would be silly not to have it.

“We just need to make sure these tools are accessible for as many members as possible and acknowledge that it will be difficult for some. But I’m not techno-savvy, so if I can get it, anyone can!”

Our new online learning experience will cover other important parts of union education, including understanding your collective agreement and how to build power in our workplaces, with more being rolled out towards the end of 2021. This will accompany education that has already been happening over Zoom during the heightened COVID-19 Alert Levels.

Since COVID-19 hit last year, E tū has run hundreds of online Zoom meetings and we’ve all grown our skills and expertise. Our experience shows that, even online, we can come together to make important gains for E tū members in Aotearoa.

Need a refresher on using Zoom? Click here – we have you covered.

Southland’s place on the Just Transition map

Across Aotearoa, E tū members are getting more involved in Just Transition work – our campaign to make sure our transition to environmentally sustainable industries doesn’t see workers bear the full brunt of the changes.

Southland is the next region where E tū members have joined the campaign. Proposed changes at one of the region’s biggest workplaces, Tiwai Point, has led the Government to announce a Just Transition process for Southland, similar to what E tū has already been successfully engaged with in Taranaki.

This process will ensure a wider community stakeholder approach to regional economic development planning, with an emphasis on sustainable and decent work for Southlanders no matter what happens with Tiwai Point. E tū members and leaders will play an integral part in this process.

Karena Kelland, Industry Council Representative for Public and Commercial Services, knows how important this will be for Southland.

“This is an exciting time for Southland, and it’s so awesome that our members and the wider community are participating in this,” Karena says.

“I would like to see a Just Transition process in Southland that ensures outcomes of good education and training that will lead to decent work and sustainable employment. This is not just about our future, it’s also about those who come after us.”

Southland members will be receiving invitations to participate in community and union events in the upcoming months so keep an eye out in your email inbox!

All E tū members deserve 100% lockdown pay

Across our industries E tū members have experienced a wide range of employer responses to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns. E tū’s firm position is that all members should be on 100% pay, even if they can’t work over the period. While some members are getting this, many are not, with some even being threatened with not being paid at all.

Commercial cleaners have been on a rollercoaster ride trying to make sure they get paid properly during lockdown. While many E tū members have continued to carry out essential work over the period, a lot of cleaners haven’t been given work, as many buildings are closed during Alert Level 3 and 4.

Many cleaning companies had a profitable year in 2020, with increased demand for cleaning services as well as the help of the wage subsidy. However, some hardworking cleaners, who are paid just over the minimum wage, were being told they’d go without pay, or with reduced pay, with very limited back-up options available from WINZ.
One of those cleaners was Mary Bredenkamp, who works at Massey University in Palmerston North. She says she “panicked” when she first received the letter telling her she wouldn’t be paid.

“It was devasting. I felt like they didn’t consider us worthy, so they don’t take our loyalty into consideration,” Mary says.

“Going without pay would have put me into rent arrears. It would have been a struggle to pay for food and other bills, and really would have put us on hardship street. It felt like a kick in the guts.”

As a result of the strong pushback by E tū members, most of the companies have started to do the right thing, including Mary’s employer.

“I felt elated when I heard that,” Mary says.

“I can breathe now – it’s like coming out of a bad nightmare. Light at the end of the tunnel – a beautiful feeling.”

E tū members will keep fighting to make sure our members are not out of pocket while COVID-19 restrictions affect our normal work. If you have been underpaid during the lockdown, please contact an E tū Support organiser by emailing 0800 1 UNION (0800 186 466) or email support@etu.nz.

Everyone deserves Decent Work

What does ‘decent work’ mean to you? That’s the question E tū members are discussing as we get ready for our next big campaign.

The Decent Work campaign brings together many strands of E tū’s existing work, such as our campaigns for a Just Transition, Fair Pay Agreements, the Living Wage, and social insurance.

On top of that, there is a Decent Work Charter in development, and E tū will host a Decent Work Summit in February 2022, to which E tū member leaders in Auckland will be invited.

The campaign is there for all E tū members to own – we all know what is needed to make our work decent and we know that we deserve no less. For some it might be better wages, for others it might be increased job security.

NZ Post worker Misty Fergusson attended one of E tū’s first Decent Work trainings and knows what Decent Work means to her.

“It’s about giving everyone a fair fighting chance,” Misty says.

“It’s things like Fair Pay Agreements and the Living Wage. That’s a really big one – if I was getting paid over the Living Wage for my job, I’d be so much better off. It wouldn’t be as much of a struggle as it is now.”

The Decent Work training discussed the idea of social insurance, which is a guaranteed income for people who are made redundant, set at a much more liveable level than the basic benefit. Misty thinks it’s a really good idea.

“Social insurance would be a good last resort to help families while they look for other employment, especially better employment, after losing their job. It would help so many people.

“It would mean you had so many better options, instead of MSD just shoving you into the first job they can get you, expecting you to stick it out on the minimum wage.”

Misty says that E tū’s education programme is well worth participating in.

“The thing I like about the E tū training is that it opens your eyes up to the idea of living better. Everyone wants to live better, but not many people know how to get from A to B. The E tū training shows you new horizons, where changes for the better are a reality, not just a dream.”

E tū has identified four key pillars that underpin our Decent Work thinking:

A decent income

  • A minimum of a Living Wage for directly employed and contracted workers employed on a regular and ongoing basis
  • Pay rates reflective of skills and responsibility
  • Leave provisions, for holidays, sickness, bereavement, and parental leave recognised in employment agreements
  • Equal pay

Secure work

  • Provision for stable work, including social insurance
  • Processes for restructuring and redundancy that mean workers are no worse off
  • Options for training and development
  • Guaranteed work hours
  • Family-friendly approach to hours and location of work

A quality work environment

  • Safe and healthy work, with the elimination of physical and psychological harm, and an end to violence, harassment, and discrimination
  • Reasonable and managed time pressures, with the elimination of excessive hours, unmanageable deadlines or excessively intensive work
  • Opportunities to learn, including on-the-job training
  • Healthy workplace culture, including appropriate tikanga, recognition of diversity, good planning, and work organisation

Workers’ voice

  • Promotion of collective bargaining and union representation
  • Recognised structures for ongoing engagement with workers and union representatives
  • Ability to genuinely influence decisions in the workplace, company, and industry

What does ‘decent work’ mean to you? Take this survey to let us know.

Weathering another COVID-19 storm

Welcome to this latest edition of our union magazine.

With the re-emergence of COVID-19 cases in our community this August, we are reminded again how serious the global pandemic is. This magazine has been put together during lockdown, and some things could change between the time of writing and when you are reading it.

With that said, there is a lot of great stuff for us to report since our last magazine. From our industrial work to our campaigning wins, we have mid-year momentum, and our union can tackle the challenges that COVID-19 presents. We’ve done it before.

I would particularly like to welcome our new E tū members. In the past three months, over 3,000 working New Zealanders made the decision to become E tū members. Thanks for joining us.

E tū members have a say

The strength of our union can be judged by the depth of our democracy and there are lots of ways E tū members can engage in our union, including standing for workplace delegate, attending our events, and getting involved in our democratic structures, such as industry councils, Te Runanga, Women’s Committee, Komiti Pasefika, the Trades Reference Group, and the Youth Network.

Our E tū Trades Reference Group (TRG) has been appointed by the National Executive for the next two-year term from among expressions of interest by trades’ members.

We have also launched the new E tū Migrant Network, to ensure that the voices of migrant workers are heard loud and clear in our union and wider communities.

We have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Biennial Membership Meetings (BMMs) as a result of the raised Alert Levels and heightened risk. However, we have still been running elections for two positions on National Executive, the Central and Southern Regional Representatives. Members will be sent the election results shortly after the vote closes.

Vaccination is a huge priority

We are in a race between the COVID-19 mutations like the Delta variant and mass community-wide vaccination. E tū supports the Government’s prioritised vaccination campaign and encourages members and their families to participate. This latest outbreak shows just how necessary the vaccine is.

COVID-19 will continue to complicate things for a long time to come. E tū is prepared for this. Unionists know the power of collective action and taking actions like getting vaccinated and wearing a mask are ways of looking out for each other – they are acts of solidarity.

E tū walks the talk on Decent Work

E tū is a leading voice for decent jobs and we are a key co-sponsor of the ‘Decent Work Summit’ being held in Auckland in next February.

We have launched E tū Job Match to connect members, who are looking for work, and employers looking for staff. This is about supporting members to find jobs with decent union conditions, and the service is free for E tū members.

We can help members find work, prepare a CV and prepare for job interviews.  I think all E tū members would be proud of this service, take a look at jobmatch.etu.nz and keep it in mind.

Norske Skog Kawerau and Whakatane Mill

I acknowledge E tū members who were gutted by the news that Norske Skog’s Kawerau Mill is ceasing production and all employees will cease employment by the end of August. The closure of the mill leaves a huge gap in the local community and a lack of opportunities for future generations.

I acknowledge site delegate Bruce Habgood, who has served our union at the highest governance level for many years. Bruce and other delegates have been working hard with management to help members prepare for an uncertain future, including a good union redundancy compensation package.

On a more positive note, production and maintenance workers represented by E tū and First Union at Whakatane Mill, had the choice to retain employment under a deal secured by the unions with the new owner of the mill. I acknowledge our delegates who played a key role in negotiations to maintain jobs with the new owner.

Challenging the ‘Uber’ employment model

I know that many E tū members are concerned about the exploitation of workers in the ‘gig’ economy.  E tū believes that all workers should be entitled to have minimum employment conditions and protections from unfair treatment at work. There has been a lot of action in this space internationally.

In New Zealand, E tū and First Union are taking Uber to court with a claim that its drivers are entitled to the protection of employment law. We are seeking a determination from the Employment Court that the drivers are employees.

E tū Solidarity Membership

E tū makes a strong stand for better working lives and we can be proud of our goals of a wages-led recovery, decent jobs, health and wellbeing, a better say at work, and our push for equality.

Many members, and others, share those values and we are relaunching our E tū Solidarity Membership to enable people to contribute just a couple of dollars a week to help us achieve that shared purpose.

It’s voluntary, it can be just a couple of dollars a week, and members can discontinue at any time.  We know we make a bigger difference when we all work together – that’s what being union is all about.  If you can afford to spare just a couple of dollars per week, just click here to join up.

A salute to long-term union commitment

In closing, I want to acknowledge John Gibb, a long-term member and delegate at the Otago Daily Times in Dunedin until he retired in June.

John was a committed union member for more than 36 years and he was described by fellow delegate Rebecca Fox as a “key weapon in wage negotiations and the go-to man for anyone in a bit of strife”.  E tū South Island Vice President Ray Pilley, presented John with an E tū Certificate of Merit on behalf of the National Executive at his retirement function. Solidarity with you, John.

Please take the time to read our magazine and thank you for being an E tū member.

E tū organising

The picket of a lifetime: Lifewise homecare support workers win!

Patience and persistence have finally paid off for Lifewise homecare support workers.

After four months of striking, picketing on the roadside, and speaking out in the media about their dispute with Lifewise, they’ve won their first collective.

Since mid-2019, Lifewise members have been fighting for their first-ever collective agreement to include extra sick and bereavement leave, long service leave, and a commitment to resolve workers’ ongoing issues with guaranteed hours.

The company agreed to the additional leave provisions before the first COVID-19 lockdown last March, but then went back on their word.

Fed up and frustrated, Lifewise members took to the picket line in December – resulting in 15 pickets and 12 strike days.

As a result of the strikes, the company threatened E tū Lifewise members with a two-week lockout on three separate occasions. These lockout threats added stress to members in the fight for decent work. E tū resorted to legal action and successfully challenged every one of their employer’s lockout notices.

Months of staunch action, members speaking up in the media, and the threat of further legal action by E tū finally led to a settlement on 1 April.

Reactions to the settlement range from relief to feeling that things are still “incomplete”.

“There’s still some things we need to work on, but at least we’ve got that way forward now and open discussion and transparency,” delegate Helen Taufa says.

Delegate Maggie Greig says: “It was a long road, but it’s quite an achievement.”

The settlement includes a one-off payment for sick leave, a fund to cover bereavement leave, and a long-service payment.

E tū Lifewise members were supported by other unions, MPs, whānau and community groups, who all came to the Lifewise pickets

Lifewise members and supporters at the Mount Eden picket

Being on the picket line created a feeling of solidarity, delegates say

It also includes a process for workers to increase their guaranteed hours. However, guaranteed hours remains an issue for E tū members.

The delegates say the strikes and pickets have created a feeling of solidarity among members.

“It was hard financially and a struggle, but actually for me, doing the strike was just the best. It just brought us together – it’s like we’re sisters,” says delegate Susie Kaio.

“Now we all know what it takes to make change.”

Susie says the next steps are to implement their collective agreement, and to keep members strong to fight for reforms that would see all home support workers treated well. Fair Pay Agreements are one way of achieving this.

Would Lifewise members head back to the picket line if need be? Absolutely.

“Who would have thought we’d be on the roadside, enjoying ourselves?” Maggie says.

Celebrating 10 years since milestone sleepover payment

This year marks 10 years since community workers won the right to be paid at the minimum wage when they are required to be on duty and “sleep over”, as part of their job caring for those with intellectual disabilities.

In 2007, IDEA Services worker Philip Dickson, went to the Employment Relations Authority, claiming that it was illegal to pay workers below minimum wage for sleepovers, as these counted as ‘work’.

Unions eventually settled Philip’s case through an industry-wide agreement and law, the Sleepover Wages (Settlement) Act 2011. This entitled those working sleepovers to the minimum wage and back pay at an agreed rate from 2005-2011.

Former IDEA Services delegate Nadine Simpson says the backpay changed her life: “I was in my 40s and starting over again with zero after a divorce. So I treated it as a one-off and bought my house. I’m now about 10 years away from retirement and in a way better position than I ever would have been.”

Nadine says her work as a delegate led to her getting into politics. She now works to support Taieri Labour MP, Ingrid Leary. “The settlement changed things in many ways – not just better pay.”

New MECA ‘stepping stone’ for cleaners

The E tū cleaners bargaining team in March

E tū members are currently voting to ratify their latest cleaning MECA, which covers members from 20 companies.

It provides clearer entitlements for domestic violence leave, and members will also receive a 30c pay rise from the first pay in July. This means they’ll be paid at least a minimum of $20.30.

Members come from companies such as OCS, ISS, City Cleaning, Millennium, and Professional Property Cleaning Services.

Wellington school cleaner and delegate-in-training Arran Downey says the MECA bargaining was a long two days but was “totally worth it”.

“It feels good to have a room of other delegates on the same wavelength and same agenda. I feel like we made progressive stepping stones. It wasn’t huge leaps but small steps forward.”

Since Arran joined the union seven months ago, he’s noticed an improvement in his conditions: “Pay discrepancies are now getting sorted out, and our cleaning cloths are getting a professional hot clean every day rather than me cleaning them every night.

“When you’re by yourself you feel like you’re fighting the world on your own, but when you’re in the union, you can get results from the company that you never thought you’d get.”

Arran says next he’s keen to see other issues like making sure cleaners have proper breaks, training allowances, and paid travel time included.

The next campaign for cleaners is Fair Pay Agreements, which will help to create decent jobs by setting industry standards for pay and conditions that apply to all cleaners. Visit etu.nz/fpas for more.

DHB hospital workers get set for bargaining

District Health Board (DHB) workers in hospitals will also be getting their turn at the bargaining table very soon.

The new DHB multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) will have an impact on nearly 5000 hospital service workers, such as cleaners, laundry workers, orderlies, catering, and security, from the country’s 20 DHBs.

E tū DHB hospital delegates

In 2018, the previous MECA set high standards, with pay rises of between 27% – 40%, and with DHBs committed to providing training.

E tū delegate Carla Hemopo says bargaining this time is all about providing more support for workers, including greatly increased sick leave and a pay rate of at least the Living Wage.

Under the Government’s new healthcare reforms, all DHBs will eventually be replaced by a single national body, Health New Zealand.

Manufacturing workers hit by redundancies

Nestlé delegate Edwin Ikani

The manufacturing sector continues to undergo change in the wake of COVID-19, with redundancies going ahead at confectionery manufacturer Nestlé in South Auckland.

Nestlé will make more than 40 workers redundant at its Wiri site, due to several of its products now slated to be produced in Australia and another to be outsourced.

The redundancies are also part of a plan to eventually shut down the confectionery manufacturing arm of the Wiri site altogether.

Nestlé delegate Edwin Ikani, who is also the newly elected E tū Food and Manufacturing Industry Council convenor, says morale is down as workers deal with the situation.

“I think it’s important for our people to remember that it’s not them as people, it’s their roles that are being made redundant,” he says.

“It’s really crucial for them to realise it’s not their doing.”

Nestlé’s workers will lose their jobs by Christmas, and E tū is pushing for solutions such as redeployment, making sure members have their skills certified and are able to leave the company with their full redundancy packages if they find a new job sooner than December.

However, there’s also some light at the end of the tunnel for members – they’ll soon be getting a pay rise now their latest collective agreement has been ratified.

This includes a total rise of 6.5%, which accounts for a year’s back pay and then a pay increase until August 2022.

Looking for work? Visit E tū Job Match at jobmatch.etu.nz for help with your CV, cover letter, job opportunities, and more.

‘Just Transition’ for New Zealand Post members

E tū New Zealand Post delegates and members in contract logistics with the signed agreement

For some New Zealand Post workers set to lose their jobs, being made redundant won’t be the end of their career but the doorway to a new one.

New Zealand Post will lay off around 130 employees in the contract logistics team over the next 12-18 months, as the company closes its operations in this area.

But E tū New Zealand Post members won’t be left high and dry – as part of their redundancy, the company will work with the union to make sure all employees affected have a Just Transition.

This means a personal transition plan for each employee who wants one.

It includes things like skills assessment and help in looking for further training, time off during work hours to go to interviews, help with CVs, and free financial advice.

Members can also leave their job early if another one comes up before their finish date, without affecting their redundancy package.

E tū delegate JD Rawiri says the agreement ensures not only a “dignified exit” but future opportunities too.

“In the package, there are opportunities for members to not only to transfer to other parts of New Zealand Post, but also to ensure that their transferable skills go with them to another meaningful occupation,” JD says.

“The way this has been handled means our people have an opportunity to make sure that their future is well looked after.”

Budget 2021

On May 20, E tū celebrated the release of Budget 2021, which makes significant moves improve the lives of Aotearoa’s workers and their communities.

In particular, E tū welcomes the plan for an ACC-style ‘social insurance’ scheme, which would give workers income protection if they lose their jobs.

It will provide workers with up to 80% of their income for a certain period of time, with both maximum and minimum caps.

E tū also commends the increase to unemployment benefit, which is essential to ensure justice and wellbeing for our society. This directly supports our members who move in and out of employment, their families and whole communities as well as for members’ households that support those out of work.

Budget 2021 is also good news for homecare support workers, who will now see their in-between travel time paid at their normal hourly rate – thanks to the $82 million put aside to fund this.

Until now, this essential health workforce was only paid the minimum wage when they were travelling between clients.

Now there’s $82 million locked in to fund fair, consistently paid travel-for-work over the next four years.

E tū delegate and support worker Tarsh Dixon, who has been on the frontlines campaigning for better conditions in the sector, says she initially didn’t believe the news was real.

“I reckon when our pay finally goes up, it will click. At the moment, members are just so stunned we finally got there,” she says.

“It’s amazing. It feels like real progress and that we’re being listened to.”

MSD security guards can also celebrate, with the Government’s commitment to paying them the Living Wage now cemented in the Budget.

Alongside all this, Budget 2021 has more pro-worker initiatives, for example, restoring the Training Incentive Allowance, new funding for vocational education growth, and a further commitment to a Just Transition.

Increased capital funding for Green Investment Finance will support growth in new, clean industries to replace those in fossil fuel sectors – but E tū wants to see workers receive assurance that this investment will lead to good, secure jobs.

E tū sees Budget 2021 as the first in a ‘package’ of three – as Finance Minister Grant Robertson has described it – and looks forward to the next instalments for workers and their communities.