E tū is very disappointed to learn that some employers are trying to avoid the upcoming minimum wage increase by building workers’ allowances into their basic hourly pay.
The allowances are typically paid for such things as service, travel time and in recognition of shift work.
E tū’s Industry Coordinator Food Sector, Phil Knight says the union believes it may be dealing with a collective employer strategy to undermine a higher minimum wage.
“For employers to move allowances into the basic rate would be to neutralise any increase provided for in the hourly rate effective from 1 April 2018,” says Phil.
“This would undermine workers’ right to fair pay and a reasonable standard of living, especially those on the lowest possible pay rate who are struggling to pay their way now and can’t live on less.”
Phil says E tū is currently bargaining with two employers about this issue, and it is urging workers who are not currently in a union to join so they are protected.
“Union members know not to sign these contracts and they have the union officials available to advise and represent them.
“However, non-union workers won’t be so sure and may think they have no choice but to agree. They need to know that is not the case, and if they do sign, they are giving away benefits and a minimum wage increase they desperately need.
“Meanwhile, we would say to employers: don’t do this. It is unreasonable and unfair, and you are only going to make life more difficult for the most disadvantaged workers who have enough problems already.”
For more information, contact:
Phil Knight E tū Industry Coordinator, Food Sector ph. 027 591 0053
E tū Aviation has welcomed the new Prime Minister’s call for productive relationships between business and workers, and an end to low pay and its negative economic effects.
In her speech to the Council of Trade Unions yesterday, Jacinda Ardern praised the High-Performance Engagement agreement which E tū and other unions have with Air New Zealand.
“That agreement means business and unions sit down together and help each other with their problems and the results speak for themselves,” says E tū’s Head of Aviation, Kelvin Ellis.
“Working together has saved jobs, ensured good pay and conditions and helped transform Air New Zealand into one of the world’s most successful and profitable airlines.
“The new Government has clearly drawn the lesson that working together benefits all parties, and we’re delighted with its support for this model.”
Kelvin has also welcomed Ms Ardern’s rejection of the low-wage approach of many employers which actually erodes productivity.
“Ms Ardern has correctly made the link between an engaged, well-paid workforce and Air New Zealand’s strong financial position.
“We fully support her message on this: that low wages aren’t simply a problem for low-wage workers, they are a problem for businesses and the economy as a whole.”
For further information, contact:
Kelvin Ellis Head of E tū Aviation ph. 027 598 5735
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.”
For more information, contact:
Bill Newson E tū National Secretary ph. 027 538 4246