Author: E tū

Iona College boarding school matrons strike over pay

The Boarding Supervisors/Matrons at Iona College in Havelock North will take strike action from this afternoon in support of a fair settlement of their pay claims.

The members will strike for 24 hours from 2.29pm today until 2.29pm tomorrow. 

E tū organiser, Thomas O’Neill says the members have been in talks to try to settle their collective agreement since November 2017.

“That’s almost two years, and the employer still won’t agree to offer them guaranteed hours or fair pay rates for the work they do,” says Thomas.

He says as well as guaranteed hours, members are seeking the same pay rates as care and support workers receive as a result of the equal pay settlement.

“It’s the same kind of work,” says Thomas. “Our members look after people. They are entrusted with the care of other people’s children, but their work is under-valued.”

The Boarding Supervisors/Matrons, including Iona College member spokesperson, Tracey Whittington say without secure hours and income, they are struggling.

“We feel undervalued and the pay rate doesn’t reflect our responsibilities or the unsociable hours we work. We all work shifts, including weekends,” says Tracey.

“We also need guaranteed hours because we lose money every time the school shuts down and that’s quite often and includes extra days on long weekends.

“I’m actually contracted to do 72 hours a fortnight, but I checked my pay recently and I haven’t been paid for that many hours since September.  

“That makes my life a struggle. I have a mortgage to pay. Most of us are sole income earners so this is important to us.”

The members say if pay is averaged out over a year, they are barely earning above the minimum wage.

“I’m lucky I have the support of my partner who receives super. A lot of these women don’t have that support and it’s very hard for them,” says Boarding Supervisor/Matron, Julia Alexander.

“Iona has offered nothing and that’s not good enough,” she says.

The members say they agreed to return to work on Thursday, so they are available to support the students ahead of their first NCEA exams which start the following day.

However, they say if there is no progress, they are prepared to strike again at a later date.

Thomas says care work at boarding schools used to be viewed as charitable work, and that attitude seems to still prevail at Iona College.

“Their employer has behaved very badly for a school that promotes women’s rights. The pay and conditions reflect a belief that the members don’t need secure work, that someone else can help them pay the bills.

“It’s actually strange to see these 19th century attitudes coming from an all-girls’ school.”

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Thomas O’Neill E tū organiser ph. 027 204 6350 – Thomas is the contact for media seeking interviews with our members.

E tū: changing times as Air NZ cuts London services

E tū says it’s not surprised by Air New Zealand’s decision to pull out of its London base and cease flights between Los Angeles and London.

E tū Head of Aviation, Savage says for many years, Kiwi travellers have looked to fly to Europe via LA and London, and the soon-to-be-defunct Air NZ route was popular in the past.

But he says, that’s changed as more players have crowded the trans-Atlantic market and flights via the Middle East and Asia have become more desirable.

“After 36 years, it’s definitely the end of an era, and our thoughts are with the cabin crew and other UK based staff who will lose their jobs,” says Savage.

“The 130 London-based crew are members of Unite union in the UK. They are a mix of nationalities with about 30 New Zealanders. As we understand it, some of the London crew will have found out today while half-way to LA that the base was closing.

“Only cabin crew know what it is like to be cabin crew so, regardless of which union they belong to or where they live, our members have strong solidarity with fellow Air NZ crew who are now facing redundancy.

“We have contacted the union officials in London and will be offering whatever assistance we can.”

Savage says this morning’s other announcement of direct flights to New York was also not unexpected.  

“The focus is now on Pacific-rim countries as Air NZ re-positions itself in the market. Our members on the 787s are in contract negotiations with the company at present and that includes agreements on Ultra Long Range flying where duty times for crew will be around 19 hours,” he says.

Savage says both moves reflect a strong focus within Air New Zealand on profits.

“It is clear the airline is focused on maximising profits on every route they fly. For E tū members, it is important the drive to increase company profits does not undermine the company’s social commitments to its own employees.

“Profit at the expense of decent well-paid aviation jobs here in New Zealand will not help the New Zealand economy thrive,” says Savage.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Savage Head of Aviation E tū ph. 027 590 0074

E tū statement on new Air NZ CEO

11 October 2019

MEDIA STATEMENT

E tū statement on the appointment of Greg Foran as Air New Zealand CEO: this should be credited to Savage, Head of Aviation, E tū.

“E tū is the largest union at Air New Zealand with over 5000 members.

“The Air New Zealand board remains committed to the High-Performance High Engagement approach, and E tū members and delegates are looking forward to meeting with their new CEO to talk about raising the standard of union-management projects and processes.

“Walmart had a reputation in the USA as an anti-union, anti-worker employer but there were clear improvements in the company’s approach under Foran’s leadership.

“Aviation workers are unionised workers. Leadership in the Aviation industry means working with your employees, not against them.”

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Savage Head of Aviation, E tū ph. 027 590 0074

Metals MECA settles

E tū’s flagship employment agreement for manufacturing, the Metals and Manufacturing Multi-Employer Collective Agreement, has been settled.

The Agreement, or Metals as it is known, is E tū’s oldest and biggest manufacturing industry agreement and provides a guide for all pay deals across the manufacturing sector.

The one-year settlement includes pay rises of between 3 percent and 3.7 percent and retains a margin of 50 cents above the minimum adult wage for the lowest printed pay rates in the document.

Members also secured an enhanced redundancy provision for workers with between six and 12-months service.

“As with many other renewals of collective agreements around the country at the moment, this agreement had to take into account two increases in the minimum wage, and at the same time, to maintain the relativities with wages across the industry,” says E tū advocate, George Hollinsworth. 

“The settlement does this and we think the pay deal we’ve reached is a good one.”

ENDS

For more information, contact;

George Hollinsworth E tū Advocate ph. 027 675 1338

E tū welcomes New Plymouth Living Wage vote

E tū has welcomed Tuesday night’s decision by the New Plymouth District Council to pay the Living Wage to its directly employed workers.

The Council voted to pay the Living Wage of $21.15 to eligible workers from 1 July 2020.

E tū Team Leader, Jen Natoli says the vote follows years of advocating by local unions for the council to pay its workers the Living Wage.

“E tū, then the EPMU, together with the PSA and the Staff Association have been raising this claim since 2013. We’ve worked successfully with the council since then to lift pay for the council’s lowest-paid workers. However, Council policy had restricted our ability to secure the Living Wage as a minimum. 

“Last night’s vote changed that policy and has finally cleared the way for the council’s directly employed workers to receive the Living Wage,” says Jen.

“We still need to win the Living Wage for our council-contracted members, but this is a great start.”

The vote followed the Living Wage election forum in New Plymouth on Monday night, where   23 out of 24 candidates committed to supporting the Living Wage for directly employed council staff.

Fifteen candidates also supported the Living Wage for the Council’s contracted workers, as well as including the Living Wage and decent jobs in Council procurement practices.

Councillor & former Mayor, Harry Duynhoven has been a vocal advocate of the Living Wage for years and current Mayor, Neil Holdom and Chief Executive, Craig Stevenson have also supported Living Wage principles for council staff.

E tū local government delegate, Toni Kelsen is ecstatic at the Council’s vote. 

“It’s pretty impressive to finally see our community and Council supporting the workers who keep our community tidy and provide services we all benefit from,” says Toni. 

“It’s been a long time coming and I think the forum our union organised helped push this decision through.”

E tū delegate, Stephan Reijmer agrees. 

“This is an excellent outcome, exciting and life-changing stuff!  It’s nice to see local government staff being valued for our contribution to our community,” he says.

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Jen Natoli Team Leader E tū ph. 027 591 0041

Jen can also provide contact details for Toni Kelsen and Stephan Reijmer.

E tū supporting regional Jetstar members

E tū is supporting its members at Jetstar following today’s surprise announcement the company will cease its regional services, effective end of November.

E tū’s Head of Aviation, Savage says the announcement, which came out of the blue, is disappointing and will mean job losses.

“Like all New Zealand-based cabin crew, Jetstar flight attendants are E tū members and the regional crew group have their own collective employment agreement.  

“All 20 of the company’s regional crew are in the union and we are supporting all of them with advice and guidance at what for any worker is a very stressful time,” says Savage.

He says the union will be working to help as many of the workers as possible find alternative, suitable jobs.

“We are discussing details of the announcement with the company and we will be assisting members with finding work at Jetstar jets, the Qantas group or with any regional airlines looking for skilled and experienced crew members.”

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Savage Head of Aviation E tū ph. 027 590 0074

Climate Change Survey: E tū! Your voice is needed!

Climate change and its impacts are upon us. Our industries face particular challenges, yet in New Zealand we have little information on what we as a society think about this or what we should do. 

This research survey is being conducted through Auckland University of Technology and invites every union member to give their feedback on issues to do with climate change, Just Transition, and what is happening in workplaces on these issues.  This will be the largest survey to date on the issue and will provide important information that unions can use for planning and education.

Participation is voluntary and confidential, and the survey will take around 15 minutes to complete. Your union encourages all members to complete the survey. Please click HERE to start the survey and for further details on the project.

Macron for E tū a Companies Office first

E tū has welcomed the move by the Companies Office to soon enable incorporated societies like the union to use the macron when they register their names.

Since 2015, E tū has been registered as ETU because the registry system doesn’t allow the use of lower-case letters or macrons for most registered entities.

However, this will be allowed for incorporated societies and charitable trusts from the end of September, which E tū President, Muriel Tunoho says is very welcome.

“That’s great news,” says Muriel.

“Macrons change the meaning of words in te reo Māori. The absence of a macron can change the true meaning of a Māori word or it can be mis-interpreted.”

Muriel says the union had persistently sought to register its correct name – macron included since its merger in 2015 and eventually appealed to the Māori Language Commission Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori for help.

As a result, E tū has been issued with a special incorporation certificate with the name E TŪ – macron included – which is a first for the country.

Muriel says knowing other incorporated societies will soon be able to register using macrons as of right is cause for celebration during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori/ Maori Language Week.

“This is a win/win for everyone,” says Muriel.

“We are halfway there and it’s good we have our certificate. Hopefully others will soon as well and we’ll see the normalising of macrons, rather than just in special cases such as ours.”

The convenor of te Runanga o E tū, Sharryn Barton says it’s time the Companies Office recognised its obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

“I know we’ve got a special dispensation to have our language correctly recognised but it’s a one-off. It should be there for everyone who needs to use it,” says Sharryn.

“We need to see the guaranteed protections of taonga, which include te reo Māori under the Articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, are practised by the Crown and it’s entities,” she says.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Muriel Tunoho President E tū ph. 027 618 5467

Sharryn Barton Convenor Te Runanga o E tū ph. 027 462 4390

Metals update

The employer advocate has finally signed off the Terms of Settlement for the Metals and Manufacturing MECA and the renewal document is being formatted.

The original parties’ campaign will kick off soon. Keep checking our website for updates and you can expect contact from your organiser soon regarding your ratification meetings.

As usual, the subsequent parties’ campaign will follow thereafter.