Category: Uncategorized

Union signs Just Transition agreement for NZ Post members set to lose jobs

E tū is advocating for a ‘Just Transition’ for more than 700 postal workers in the wake of a major redundancy proposal.

On Tuesday, New Zealand Post announced plans to reduce its mail processing and delivery operations in Auckland and Christchurch over the next five years.

The proposal affects around 750 workers.

E tū has signed a Just Transition agreement with the company to support and guide E tū members in their transition to new work.

Negotiation Specialist Joe Gallagher says while the proposal is not unexpected in the face of declining global mail rates, a Just Transition is about making sure there is more than “one tool in the toolbox” to assist members.

“A Just Transition process is about workers being treated with fairness, equity, and transparency, so they can focus on things like transferring their skills to other kinds of work, or retraining and upskilling as they explore different options for their futures,” he says.

“E tū strongly supports its members as they go through this difficult time, and we will be advocating for workers to have the best opportunities possible to assist them through the transition period.”

The union also ran a Just Transition process to support New Zealand Post members in Manawatū who lost their jobs when their mail processing centre closed in March.

Union’s Just Transition aim for members affected by potential Webstar closure

A “Just Transition” is the aim for E tū members working at Webstar Masterton who will lose their jobs if the plant shuts next year.

On Wednesday, Webstar, which is part of the Blue Star Print Group, announced its proposal to close its Masterston plant in early 2024.

More than 20 E tū members will be affected if the proposal goes ahead. The consultation period runs until Tuesday.

E tū Negotiation Specialist Joe Gallagher says members are “shocked but not surprised”.

“Webstar’s closure proposal is a symptom of the wider decline in print advertising and the rising costs around power, freight, and paper.”

Joe says E tū will be working hard to support members and making sure a Just Transition plan is put in place.

“A Just Transition plan would ideally see a range of support available to assist members as they prepare to move on.

“It would ease some of the stress of finding another job or moving into study to upskill for other types of work.”

Just Transition is the idea that workers should not bear the brunt of changes in the labour market, such as those in response to technological and climate change.

From ‘stuff all’ to great stuff for journalists

Team effort and unprecedented strike action turned things around for members at one of the country’s largest media organisations, putting them off to a good start for the new year.

Last year, Stuff journalists in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, and elsewhere, took to the streets for several hours, fighting for a decent pay rise in the face of wages that have stayed stagnant for years.

Thanks to their action and hard work, from 2023, members will see a 6.8% pay increase and the reintroduction of a stepped pay scale.

The lowest paid members will also now start on $55,000 – an enormous achievement, which means a boost of around $7000 to an entry-level starting salary.

Delegate Tom Hunt says strikes are rare for members in the journalism industry, who haven’t done one for at least more than a decade.

But when it became obvious that negotiations had come to a stalemate, members wanted to go in strong right away, he says.

“People were really just struggling so hard financially that they really wanted to take action.”

After just a two-hour strike, the team got back around the table and “got things sorted pretty fast”.

Tom says top management was surprised that their workers were living so close to the poverty line: “People don’t want extra money to go to the pub – it’s about the cost of living.”

Now, the higher start rate combined with the annual pay scale increases means members coming into the profession at Stuff will see their pay progress as they gain more experience, he says.

E tū to National: Don’t cut health funding!

E tū is appalled to hear this morning that National Party leader Christopher Luxon has reneged on a commitment to keep health and education funding at least in line with inflation.

Despite recent assurances, Luxon told the AM Show this morning under a National government, increases may fall behind inflation after all.

The back track has sent shockwaves through the health community, with many worrying that National will cut funding when and where it is needed most. Theatre orderly at Middlemore Hospital, Taatahi Phillips, says the pressures in the health system are already having a huge impact at his workplace.

“We are losing more and more staff, and we have another three nurses leaving our team in the next two weeks,” Taatahi says.

“It means we have to cover and do work that we might not have specialist training in.”

However, Taatahi says that while there are many reasons for the current pressures in the health system, there have been real improvements in the sector under the Labour Government.

“We still have a way to go, but we have had seen a massive pay increase under Labour. The old regime was broken, and they are fixing it. Labour might be getting the blame because everyone wants problems fixed tomorrow, but we are in a lot better position than we were.

“We are finally starting to see the positives of the new money that has been invested in the new health system. It might still be in the teething stage, but it is real progress.”

Taatahi says that he and his colleagues are very worried about what a National government would mean for the sector.

“We really do dread what will happen if National gets in. If we start going backwards again, well, I don’t know what to say. My daughter says ‘Dad, come over to Australia’. Any more cuts will just make the brain drain worse.

“People forget that under National last time, we actually had pay freezes. National took away everything. I was there, I know how bare the money was. Christopher Luxon will do no good for the country. He will make it worse.”

Taatahi says it’s not just a lack of funding that worries him about National.

“Take the Māori Health Authority. A lot of people of my generation know what it was like to feel like second-class citizens in our own country. Labour is finally doing something about this, and Luxon wants to undo it all – this just will not work!”

E tū Assistant National Secretary, Annie Newman, says Luxon’s comments today are just one example of the National Party not understanding the reality of challenges in health funding.

“We actually need more than just keeping up with inflation in health funding, given the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the much-needed improvements to health infrastructure, and the changing demographics in our population,” Annie says.

“To indicate that funding won’t even keep up with inflation is just astounding and will amount to cuts to the health system in real terms.

“The final insult is that National’s gutting of the health system will be to pay for a wildly irresponsible tax cut plan, that will give top earners tens of thousands of dollars a year.

Annie says there is a common theme of the National Party opposing anything that will help the people who need it most.

“Luxon’s National Party opposes minimum wage increases, Fair Pay Agreements, the New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme, the Cost of Living Payment, and many more Government initiatives designed to help working families get ahead.

“The contrast could not be clearer.”

Minimum Wage rise welcome and necessary to support low-wage workers

E tū says the Minimum Wage rise to $21.20 from 1 April is excellent news – an increase that’s much needed to make sure the wages of low-paid workers keep pace with inflation.

The 6 percent increase corresponds with the change to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 5.9 percent from the year ended December 2021.

E tū Assistant National Secretary Annie Newman says the increase will benefit Aotearoa’s lowest-paid workers, including many essential workers who continue to provide vital services during the ongoing Covid crisis.

“The Minimum Wage has gone up in correspondence with inflation, which is great to see,” she says.

“It also recognises that we need to pay workers properly for the work they do. Essential work shouldn’t be, and doesn’t need to be, poorly paid.”

However, Annie says E tū will continue to push to see the Minimum Wage rate brought into line with the Living Wage rate of $22.75.

“We believe that this should be the minimum wage floor for all workers.”

The union is also actively campaigning for Fair Pay Agreements, which will establish standards across whole industry groupings, as well as the Government’s proposed social unemployment insurance scheme, to become law.

“The rise of the Minimum Wage is a great start. However, we know that to create truly decent working environments for all New Zealanders, we still need to go further.

“Implementing Fair Pay Agreements, along with a social unemployment insurance scheme, will lift working conditions to a standard not seen for decades in Aotearoa,” Annie says.

“To us, Decent Work means a decent income, a quality work environment, secure work, and room for workers’ voices at the table – all these initiatives will be invaluable in helping us to achieve better working lives for everyone in our communities.”


For more information and comment:
Annie Newman, 027 204 6340

Promise of new Matariki public holiday welcomed

E tū welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement to make a new public holiday in celebration of Matariki, the Māori New Year.

Official celebrations of Matariki would begin in 2022, to allow the party time to develop the necessary resources and organise public events around the day.

As Matariki follows the lunar calendar, the exact date would change annually but would always fall on either a Monday or Friday during Matariki.

E tū Co President Muriel Tunoho says the proposal is good news and important because it formally recognises Māori knowledge that is already celebrated in communities across Aotearoa.

“The announcement of recognising Matariki as a formal public holiday has been a long journey – one that is welcomed by workers, whānau, and our communities.”

National Convenor Te Runanga o E tū Sharryn Barton says the season is also a time to make a fresh start.

“For me, Matariki is a time of new beginnings and hopefulness as we emerge from the long winter months of hibernation. It welcomes the dawn of new promise and promises yet unfulfilled.”


For more information and comment:
Muriel Tunoho, 027 618 5467

Promoting inclusion and equality for all union members

E tū and its Komiti Pasifika group is calling on all members and their communities to come together in the wake of the latest COVID-19 lockdown.

Workers need to know that they should be able to get a test without being disadvantaged at work or having to use up leave in any stand-down period while awaiting test results.

E tū Food and Manufacturing Industry Council Convenor Gadiel Asiata says recent negative narratives centred on Pasefika families who have contracted COVID-19 are deeply hurtful and may make it harder for people to come forward to be tested.

“The current messages have only highlighted discrimination that has been present for generations. However, our community is a place where people love to congregate and come together as one.”

“New Zealand did not ask for this virus, no one did. There is no shame in getting tested if needed,” he says.

Gadiel says members should connect with their union if they are unsure about their rights at work and getting a test.

“We need to look after our aiga, our whānau, our families. In coming together, we are strong.”

E tū Komiti Pasifika coordinator and campaign organiser Fala Haulangi says the union has a zero-tolerance approach to racism.

“There is no place for discrimination of any kind at E tū. We work to be inclusive of every one of our members and their individual preferences and backgrounds.”

Fala says stronger rights for workers, such as Fair Pay Agreements, being paid a living wage and having 10 sick leave days, are key to creating more equal workplaces and societies.

“The importance of these issues has been highlighted again and again during COVID-19, as many of our members have continued to go to work as essential workers.

“E tū is here to support its members and will continue to advocate for decent jobs with no less than the living wage to ensure the health and wellbeing of workers and their communities.”

On Wednesday 2 September at 6pm, E tū will be holding a Facebook Live Zoom meeting for all Komiti Pasifika and E tū members, with guest speakers from the community, including Dr Api Talemaitoga and Manukau ward councillor Fa’anana Efeso Collins.


For more information and comment:
Fala Haulangi, 027 204 6332

Changes to New Zealand’s Alert Levels from 12 August

New Zealand’s Alert Levels are changing from 12pm on Wednesday 12 August.

Auckland will move to Alert Level 3, and the rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2. As per the most recent COVID-19 update from the Government, see below for more.



Under Alert Level 3, you are encouraged work from home if you can.

Travel and self-isolation

If you are currently in Auckland and do not live in Auckland, we suggest that you go home. Practise good hygiene and be conscious of your health. We recommend that you keep your bubble small.


Businesses are able to open, but should not physically interact with customers.

Essential services including healthcare, justice services and businesses providing necessities are able to open.

Bars and restaurants should close, but takeaways are allowed.


Schools in Auckland can safely open but will have limited capacity. Where possible we encourage students to learn from home.

When you’re out and about

Maintain physical distancing of two metres outside your home, including on public transport.

It is highly recommended that you wear a mask if you are out and about.

Public transport can continue to operate with strict health and safety requirements. You should maintain physical distancing and wearing a mask.

Public venues should close. This includes libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, playgrounds and markets.


Gatherings of up to 10 people can continue, but only for wedding services, funerals and tangihanga. Physical distancing and public health measures should be maintained.

At-risk people

People at high risk of severe illness such as older people and those with existing medical conditions are encouraged to stay at home where possible, and take additional precautions when leaving home.

Rest of New Zealand

The rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2 at 12pm on Wednesday 12 August. Under Alert Level 2, the following restrictions apply.

You can still continue to go to work and school, with physical distancing.

Wear masks if you can in public.

No more than 100 people at gatherings, including weddings, birthdays, funerals and tangihanga.

Businesses can open to the public if they are following public health guidance, which include physical distancing and record keeping.

People at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, for example those with underlying medical conditions and old people are encouraged to take additional precautions when leaving home.

Practice good hygiene – stay home if sick.

Worker-led Health and Safety programme for Māori, Pasefika, and migrants

E tū is making sure workers’ voices lead the way with the kick-off of a new health and safety programme for Māori, Pasefika, and migrant workers in manufacturing.

Funded jointly by the union and a Workplace Injury Prevention grant from ACC, E tū’s worker leadership programme addresses the high rate of workplace injuries among these groups in the sector.

The programme, Ngā Puna Whai Oranga, begins with a series of hui from August to November, followed by workplace workshops until the end of 2021.

A worker in the manufacturing industry for 18 years and the Women’s Committee Convenor on E tū’s National Executive, Wheeti Haenga says she’s really excited about the course and rapt that ACC are supporting the programme – a “big stride forward” for Māori, Pasefika, and migrant workers.

“We’ve never had a mentor for Māori or Pasefika in my workplace, and I think this programme will really help to bring our people – particularly our young people – together.”

E tū Food and Manufacturing Industry Council Convenor Gadiel Asiata says the programme has been “long-needed” in the manufacturing industry and is a valuable opportunity for workers to play a leading role in ensuring effective health and safety practices.

“We don’t want just a ‘tick-box’ exercise or flyer-on-a-noticeboard-type approach. Instead, we need processes that are championed by both employers and employees, with strong worker role models,” he says.

The two-year programme will start with around 150 workers, with room for more as the project expands.

After the hui conclude, onsite workshops will cover issues including cultural leadership, workplace risk-management tools, and overcoming barriers to leadership.

E tū Runanga Convenor Sharryn Barton says she hopes it will provide an opportunity for workers to connect with their cultural values in the workplace, given the high rates of injury for tāngata whenua.

“Health and safety is based in Manaakitanga, which means looking after people, your family, and the place you’re in. We need to recognise that we all have mana, and how well we look after others also determines our own wellbeing.”

Sharryn is grateful to ACC for its generous support of the programme. She says she hopes Ngā Puna Whai Oranga will inspire the same passion and commitment to improving conditions for manufacturing workers and their families as the late Helen Kelly achieved in the forestry and agricultural sectors.

ACC Implementation Manager, Workplace Safety and Levies, Virginia Burton-Konia saysthey are pleased E tū has been a successful grant recipient.

“We are delighted to be able to support a grant initiative that champions improved health and safety outcomes for Māori, Pasefika, and migrant workers.”

Ngā Puna Whai Oranga will link to existing health and safety programmes, such as WorkSafe’s Maruiti and Puataunofo, and will also be assessed by AUT’s Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research.

E tū plans to continue Ngā Puna Whai Oranga until 2027.

For more information and comment:
Sharryn Barton, 027 462 4390