Author: E tū

E tū extremely disappointed with MBIE report on cheap Chinese steel

E tū is extremely disappointed with a report which has found there is little evidence of steel dumping in New Zealand by China.

The report details the findings of an enquiry by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment into a complaint by NZ Steel that imported Chinese galvanised steel coil is subsidised, making it hard for New Zealand steel producers to compete.

The report found no evidence of anything more than “minimal” subsidies, with the government announcing it won’t act on the complaint.

E tū Industry Coordinator, Joe Gallagher says there are serious questions about the rigour of the research underpinning the report.

“Only one Chinese manufacturer responded to questions from the enquiry about subsidies. The Chinese government barely responded either, claiming its steel producers wouldn’t cooperate.

“MBIE admits its findings rest on “very limited information”, their words – then tells us that “on that basis”, it concludes that the Chinese subsidies are minimal.

“This isn’t just disappointing. It’s frightening that the livelihoods of entire communities rest on this poor-quality enquiry and report which shrugs off the failure of key players to answer questions at the heart of the NZ Steel’s complaint.”

Joe says the government’s refusal to act is also “a further kick in the guts” for local steel producers who also face pressure from Emissions Trading Scheme charges and the threat of big price hikes by power industry lines companies.

“There is clear evidence of an over-supply of steel coming in from China at below market prices,” says Joe.

“There are no proper quality checks in China to make sure this steel is of the proper standard, such as are required of NZ Steel, and equally, there are no tariffs on these products.

“It’s not a level playing field,” he says.

ENDS

For further information, contact:

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

Equal Pay update: Equal pay deal for Vocational workers & pay equity claim for mental health support workers

Vocational Disability Support Workers

Yesterday, (Monday 3 July) the PSA and E tū met with the Ministry of Social Development and Oranga Tamariki to extend the pay equity settlement to vocational disability support workers.

The Government negotiators and the unions have reached agreement on the text of the settlement and its coverage.

The next steps will include agreement from the appropriate cabinet ministers and the signing of the agreement next week pending ratification.

There will be a short ratification process, although as most vocational support workers have already ratified the agreement and legislation is required, it will be deemed to be ratified from 18 July.

We will notify you of the details of the ratification meeting process shortly.

It is agreed that the new rates will be back paid from 1 July 2017.

Community mental health support workers

E tū and the PSA have filed a pay equity claim in the Employment Relations Authority on behalf of community mental health support workers.

The current situation is causing a major imbalance and will affect the ability for the sector to attract mental health support workers.

The first day of negotiations between the Unions, Ministry of Health and sector representatives is this Thursday 6th July.

Please check your email for updates, and for information of union meetings to talk about the case. In the meantime, talk to your workmates about signing up to the union and supporting this campaign.

Please call Union Support 0800 1 UNION if you would like further information about Equal Pay and what it means for you.

IDEA Services Collective Ratified

Dear E tū members

With the final votes counted we can confirm that E tū members have ratified the new collective agreement for admin and support workers. The final vote was 604 in favour and 243 against – meaning 7 out of every 10 votes were to settle.

It’s been a long year but firstly a big ‘thank’ you to all members for your hard work and continual support and dedication. Your membership has meant we have the resources to support each other at work as we deal with service reviews and disciplinaries, as well as mounting and winning the successful legal campaigns with Sleepovers, Home Support Travel Time, Home Support Guaranteed Hours. And now the Equal Pay Settlement for All Residential, Vocational and Supported Living Members.

The new rates start from the 1 July 2017, and there will need to be an adjustment to this fortnight pay as Idea Services will be legally required to back date any back pay from the 1 July 2017. And ‘yes’ vocational are included.

We thank you all for continually standing tall, despite the challenges from the Government and from within IDEA.

Because of members like you, we overcame these challenges and achieved another successful campaign for members.

Because of the delays, we don’t have long to wait until the next round of bargaining. Negotiations will start again as early as October and we expect to discuss the impact of relativities, the need to resolve equal pay for our admin members as well as ensuring the gains in Guaranteed Hours and health and safety are built on and enforced.

Nic Corrigan

E tū Industry Council member

On behalf of the E tū IDEA bargaining team.

Historic Equal Pay Settlement comes into force midnight

From midnight, tonight (1 July) the celebrations will begin in earnest as the reality of their big pay rise sinks in for 55,000 care and support workers in aged care, disability services and home support.

These are workers included in the historic Equal Pay Settlement which has resulted in one of the biggest increases in pay for any group of workers in New Zealand history.

Kristine Bartlett, who took the Equal Pay case which resulted in this Settlement, says many of her co-workers are overjoyed while for others the reality has yet to sink in.

“There will be so many happy people. When they finally get the first two weeks of their new pay, they’ll see the difference it makes and can actually do a little bit of celebrating,” says Kristine.

“They’ll be looking at their pay slips and trying to believe that after all these years they’ve finally been rewarded for the hard work they do, and they deserve this so, so much. I’m so happy for them and I’m so happy the union stepped up and made this happen.

“For me, it really hasn’t sunk in and I’ll believe it when I see it in my bank account. Then I can say it has happened, because I’m still in a dream and I’ve been in a dream for quite some time,” she says.

“We’re very pleased that this fantastic deal worth $2.06 billion is going to deliver this pay increase for these 55,000 workers,” says E tū Assistant National Secretary, John Ryall.

“We will be celebrating across the country.”

Meanwhile, John says work continues to win the same deal for community disability support workers, funded by the Ministry of Social Development, and “we are fast reaching a settlement on that”, says John.

Mental health support workers aren’t covered either with a pay equity claim lodged on their behalf with the Employment Relations Authority earlier this month.

“These were two groups which were left out initially but they need to be included,” says John.

 

ENDS

For more information, contact:

John Ryall E tū Assistant National Secretary ph. 027 520 1380

E tū welcomes Labour’s new Workplace Relations Policy

Working people in New Zealand will benefit significantly from Labour’s new Workplace Relations Policy announced today.

E tū, New Zealand’s largest private sector union with over 54,000 members, welcomes the new policy that takes union and working people’s rights seriously.

National Secretary John Ryall is pleased with the firm commitments made in the policy.

“A key point of the policy is undoing much of the harmful legislation that National has implemented in the last three terms, such as unfair trial periods,” John says.

“National’s 90-day ‘fire at will’ law has seen many workers exploited, sometimes being fired in the first three months for no good reason at all. The new policy ensures that these workers have the opportunity to challenge an unfair dismissal during a trial period.

John says that the introduction of Fair Pay Agreements will allow workers and unions to unite across industries to ensure that minimum standards are met.

“Too many employers use a race-to-the-bottom with wages and conditions to gain a competitive advantage, at the expense of working people.

“We saw with the Equal Pay settlement that industry-wide bargaining can be used effectively to clean up industries plagued by low pay. This was a union win that the National Government has celebrated with us – it’s time to use a similar method to address unfair pay across all industries.”

E tū is also pleased with the clear commitment to the payment of the Living Wage.

“A Labour Government will ensure that people working in core public services are paid at least the Living Wage in the first 12 months, and envisages significant moves towards the Living Wage for contracted workers as well, such as cleaners, catering staff and security guards.

“E tū is proud to be campaigning for a Labour-Greens Government this election and we’re excited about the positive difference a change of Government will make for working people.”

ENDS

For more info or comment, contact:
John Ryall 027 520 1380

E tū welcomes Wellington City Council Annual Plan Living Wage

E tū, New Zealand’s largest private sector union is welcoming today’s vote by the Wellington City Council for an Annual Plan which includes a commitment to move all directly employed council workers, as well as some contractors to the full New Zealand Living Wage rate of $20.20 an hour on 1 July, with wages for other contractors also increasing as their contracts come up for renewal.

E tū Campaign Lead Organiser, Mat Danaher says: “This will immediately benefit around 100 E tū members, including cleaners, security guards, and parking wardens, both directly employed by the council and employed by contractors, and we expect the increases to be rolled out to other contract workers shortly.

“This is a victory for E tū members and our allies in the Living Wage Movement, and demonstrates the effectiveness of unions and community groups working together to campaign for the issues they care about.”

Parking warden and E tū member, John Tuiavi’i has seen his pay lift from the minimum wage 3 years ago to $19.00 an hour today, thanks to the Living Wage campaign.

He’s delighted with today’s announcement that he will soon move to the full Living Wage.

“My family is the reason I work,” says John.

“I can pay the bills, but there’s nothing left over. We stay home a lot because we can’t afford to do anything else. Now, with the extra money, I’ll be able to afford little luxuries like family trips and the occasional treat so it’ll make a real difference,” he says.

“This decision by Wellington City Council is going to echo across the country,” says Mat.

“We believe that if Wellington City Council can do this, so can other councils, and other employers. We know that Auckland Council is going to move towards the Living Wage this year, thanks to a massive campaign by ratepayers in support of the Living Wage for all council staff there.

“Other employers in the Wellington region are now going to be competing with the City Council for staff. We expect to see them starting to think about changing their wage structures in order to attract skilled and experienced staff,” Mat says.

“With the growing support for the Living Wage, and the historic Equal Pay decision this year, 2017 is when Kiwis said they were not going to accept shrinking pay packets any more. We expect to be paid enough to live on.”