Author: E tū

Free Auckland measles immunisation clinic 20 July

Free measles immunisation clinic, for people who don’t know or who haven’t been vaccinated against measles before.

Clinic details:

Date: Saturday 20th July

Time: 9.00am to 3.30pm

Venue: Waitakere Union Health Centre, in Waitakere Hospital grounds, Lincoln Road, Henderson

Parking: on site, free

Registration (preferred but not essential):  https://whoozin.com/GH4-TRQ-W7T3-KRAQ

There is a Measles outbreak in Auckland with more than 185 cases since February. Don’t be a victim of this highly infectious illness which can be very serious. If you, or anyone in your whanau, aged between 1 – 49 years and have not had one MMR vaccination, come get one FREE.

If you think you have measles, stay home and call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 611 116.

This free community health initiative is provided by Primary Health Organisations: Comprehensive Care, National Hauora Coalition, ProCare.

Links to measles information:

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS): http://www.arphs.health.nz/public-health-topics/disease-and-illness/measles/

ARPHS Quick guide to measles: http://www.arphs.health.nz/assets/Uploads/Resources/Disease-and-illness/Measles-Mumps-Rubella/Quick-guide-to-measles-20190619.pdf

Ministry of Health: https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles and https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles/2019-measles-outbreak-information

NZI misses the blindingly obvious

E tū is annoyed by the deliberate misrepresentation of collective bargaining in relation to Fair Pay Agreements by the New Zealand Initiative (NZI), in a report they released today.

The report purports to make the case against the findings of the Fair Pay Agreements Working Group, which was a group of union and business representatives, academics and experts, chaired by former Prime Minister Jim Bolger.

However, as meticulously detailed by the Council of Trade Unions, NZI has cherry-picked claims, ignored crucial evidence, and has not contributed constructively to the discussion on the issue.

E tū National Director of Campaigns Annie Newman said that NZI had completely ignored the main issue.

“Tens of thousands of working New Zealanders are living in poverty, working in industries where tendering processes mean a race to the bottom on wages,” Annie says.

“Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards to make sure that paying people poorly is not the way to be competitive. It really is as simple as that.”

Annie pointed to the recent Care and Support (Pay Equity) Settlement Agreement, which won equal pay for everyone in the industry.

“Carers in New Zealand won equal pay through an industry-wide agreement, similar to a Fair Pay Agreement. It was negotiated by unions, businesses, and government, and has lifted over 50,000 people off poverty wages.

“The facts are on our side – even the OECD now officially acknowledges the importance of collective bargaining. International evidence is clear that countries with mechanisms for industry-wide bargaining have better social and economic outcomes.

“However, even when proper analysis is in our favour, the most important thing for E tū members is that they are lifted out of poverty. That means proper wages and conditions, which is exactly what Fair Pay Agreements are all about.”

Annie says that people shouldn’t be tricked into thinking the debate is about different interpretations of economic analysis.

“Our priority areas for Fair Pay Agreements are cleaning and security, where it is blindingly obvious that we need better wages and conditions. Any argument against that, especially one that offers no meaningful solutions, doesn’t deserve the attention of New Zealand workers.”

ENDS

Media enquires: Sam Gribben, 027 204 6329

E tū & Chorus contractors discuss contract cuts

E tū union met today with Visionstream and UCG contractors to discuss big cuts by Chorus to payments for maintenance work on its copper and fibre network north of Auckland.

The changes affect the codes which determine what the contractors are paid, and these have been slashed by almost a third, says E tū Industry Coordinator, Joe Gallagher.

“The contractors were presented with new contracts and told to sign. The rates that determine their pay are set to drop by 30 percent, and they’re not happy,” he says.

“The new contracts also require they are available for work but there is no guarantee they’ll get any.”

Joe says the contractors are already struggling with rising costs and issues with mental health because of the pressures they face.

“All the costs and risks sit with them but many lack the capital to ride out a lean patch.”

Joe says Chorus committed to improving conditions for its contractors and subcontractors after an investigation found many were in breach of minimum employment standards.

He says in the wake of the investigation, Chorus did its own report, which recommended changes to ease pressure on its contractors, but “that’s not what’s happening here”.

“This latest move flies in the face of Chorus’s commitment to ensure the contractors receive a sustainable income.”

Joe says the meeting, which was hosted by the Telecom Contractors Association of New Zealand (TCANZ) discussed how the contractors and the union can work together to achieve better outcomes.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Joe Gallagher E tū Industry Coordinator ph. 027 591 0015

Auckland: free measles immunisation clinic, 29 June

There is a measles outbreak in Auckland, with more than 126 confirmed cases this year. Don’t be a victim of this highly infectious illness which can be very serious. If you or anyone in your whanau is aged between 1 – 49 years and has not had one MMR vaccination, come get one FREE.

If you think you have measles, stay home and call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 611 116.

  • Date: Saturday 29 June
  • Time: 9.00am to 3.00pm
  • Venue: Waitakere Union Health Centre, Waitakere Hospital grounds, Lincoln Road, Henderson
  • Parking: on site, free
  • Registration (preferred but not essential): https://whoozin.com/FQH-73A-AHAE-9MG3

This free community health initiative is provided by Primary Health Organisations: Comprehensive Care, National Hauora Coalition, ProCare.

Links to measles information:

ERA win opens new ground for IDEA, pay rise on the way

A series of strikes by E tū members employed by IDEA Services has been critical evidence in persuading the Employment Relations Authority to accept a union application for facilitated bargaining.

The Authority ruled that seven escalating strike actions were “likely to affect the public interest” and impact on IDEA clients. That was enough for them to direct IDEA to sit down and talk.

E tū advocate Alastair Duncan says the union welcoms the decision but was disappointed that IDEA had turned down earlier attempts at facilitation, leaving staff with little option but to take industrial action.

“Now we have a decision from the Authority that cannot be ignored.  After months of stubbornness, we hope IDEA will come back to the negotiating table willing to address very real staff concerns around staffing, safety and job security.

“To date, IDEA has been unresponsive to union attempts to find a middle ground and we hope that a move into a more formal setting will assist.

“IDEA is the operation arm of IHC, which is a multimillion-dollar business dependant on public funding and public good will. We hope IDEA will now stop trying to cut the rights of the workforce.”

Meanwhile, IDEA care and support worker workers will be getting pay rises of between 50 cents and $1 an hour as a result of the ground breaking equal pay win.

“IDEA tried to undermine vocational staff when we won the case, but the good news is that every care worker at IDEA gets a pay rise from 1 July,” Alastair says.

E tū will be holding paid membership meetings in August to report progress.

E tū welcomes BERL Fair Pay Agreement report

E tū has welcomed the BERL independent report emphasising the role of Fair Pay Agreements in making lives better for Kiwi workers.

E tū Assistant National Secretary Annie Newman says the findings aren’t a surprise, as New Zealand is in the minority of OECD countries that don’t have industry bargaining in the private sector, contributing to our poor record on poverty and inequality.

“The countries with the highest standards of living invariably have national or sector bargaining that ensures decent living standards. We do not.

“Fair Pay Agreements are well overdue in Aotearoa New Zealand, as workers have suffered from inadequate laws.”

Annie says that cleaning and security are two industries in real need of sector-wide bargaining.

“One of the main problems in security and cleaning is the contracting model, which sees companies in a race to the bottom with wages and conditions.

“Some of the biggest companies have told us they’d really like to pay better wages but can’t afford it as they’ll be undercut by exploitative employers. Fair Pay Agreements can be a solution to that.”

E tū members spoke at the launch of the BERL report this morning, and the union is getting ready for a big push for Fair Pay Agreements.

“We’ve been campaigning for this since before the last election, and we were very excited to see Fair Pay Agreements in Labour policy,” Annie says.

“Now’s the time to see some action – low paid workers have waited long enough.”

IDEA strike on Sunday: info for members

Dear IDEA members,

Despite another full day of mediation on Thursday 20 June, IDEA failed to make an offer to settle your collective so Sunday’s strike starting at 9.00 am and continuing for 24 hours is on.

On Tuesday 25 June we’re going to the Employment Relations Authority to argue the case that IDEA has breached the law and to see a formal “facilitation”. Your strike action is a key part of winning that hearing as it is one of the criteria that can force a decision.

We expect IDEA to try and undercut that process by making a late offer over the weekend. We are pretty sure they will continue to push their attempt to make you even more “flexible” and are confident any offer will NOT address the need to value Senior Support staff or restore the weekend rates they took off staff many  years ago. 

At the mediation it did seem they might be ready to back down on their attempt to cut the health and safety rights at work. We put that down to the action and support shown by members to date. So don’t stop now.

Click here for details about your local picket.

Full membership meetings are being planned for July, so keep an eye out for those details which will be sent to you and published on the website.

E tū welcomes the Wellbeing Budget

E tū is applauding the Government for today’s Wellbeing Budget, which puts significant investment in areas important for Kiwi families.

John Ryall, E tū’s Assistant National Secretary, says the Budget demonstrates that the Government has “people in need at the front of their minds”.

“This Wellbeing Budget will bring significant change for some of society’s most vulnerable people,” John says.

“The big increase in funding for mental health services was long overdue. It was good to see the Government accept nearly all of the recommendations from the mental health and addictions inquiry yesterday. Today, they’ve put their money where their mouth is.

“Indexing the main benefits to wage increases is also a good idea. For many lower income people, living costs are rising well above inflation, particularly housing costs. This new approach is more reasonable. However, benefits remain at poverty level and that still needs to be fixed.

“We are also pleased with investments in child poverty reduction, decent infrastructure, better services at schools, our hospitals, and more.

“There’s a lot to celebrate for the people who need the government’s attention most, but there’s a lot more to be done.”

ENDS

For more information and comment, contact John Ryall: 027 520 1380

IDEA strike four – info for members

Why Friday’s strike at IDEA is going ahead

Dear members,

Last Friday, we held our eighth day of bargaining with IDEA. The good news is management didn’t walk out like they did last time and we were able to present them with nearly 700 personalised messages from members (the ‘wanted’ posters) to go the Board. Since neither the Board nor CEO Ralph Jones agreed to come to the meeting, we have provided copies for them to read. The bad news is they are still insisting on being able to force staff to move between services and facilities and slash health and safety rights.

As a result, we have started legal proceedings in the Employment Relations Authority to seek a formal facilitation hearing. This is a legal process that can test the employer position but to be successful in our application, Friday’s 8.30 – 9.30 strike must go ahead.

Your strike action is a critical part of our application. We’ve also said IDEA has seriously undermined the bargaining by making false statements about members (the letters from Ralph Jones which you may have seen).

It’s good to remember that the vote for action as over was overwhelmingly endorsed and that further strikes are planned for an hour from 8.30 on Friday 7th with a 12-hour strike on the weekend of the 16th and a 24-hour strike on the following weekend – if needed.

Taking a one-hour strike this and next Friday is your legal right and makes our application to the Authority all the more likely to succeed. It also shows you are serious about protecting your current rights. Members who don’t take part risk undermining that process.

Members are also  reminded of the union negotiated equal pay rise due on 1 July  with increase of 80 cents to $1 an hour. Taking action does not affect that increase.

Remember, IDEA’s attempts to your current slash health and safety rights and force so called ‘flexibility’ cannot be imposed on any member without your consent, so Friday’s action shows we are serious.

This week, 50,0000 teachers took nationwide action in support of their workplace rights, so we are in good company!

For more information contact E tū Union support on 0800 1 UNION.