I am Muriel Tunoho, the Co-President of E tū, the biggest private sector union in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our union is all about standing together as workers to win the best possible wages and conditions for all our union members.
You might have heard about Fair Pay Agreements – a great opportunity we won to really improve wages and conditions in Aotearoa New Zealand. A Fair Pay Agreement is one set of minimum pay and conditions that applies to an entire industry. It means that instead of being stuck on low wages, with the minimum legal conditions like leave, allowances, and overtime, workers and their unions can bring up the benchmarks for everyone.
The law for Fair Pay Agreements was won by union members under the last Labour Government. But the National Party has said they want to take Fair Pay Agreements away, before we have even completed the first ones.
We need everyone to join the union
No matter what happens next, cleaners and security guards will be in the best position to win what we deserve if all workers join us in the union. Fair Pay Agreements are important, but they are not the only way we can win – far from it. Joining the union means we work together to have real power, because we can go to the employers together and show them our strength. That is the power of a union.
Not only do you get to be part of a collective voice of people calling for fairness, but union members also get important services and protection when you need it. If something’s not right at work, or you get in trouble, or you just need advice and training on how to get the best out of your employment, the union is here for you.
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