You may have received a letter or an email from OCS outlining their proposal to stop paying you if they are unable to provide you with work during the lockdown.
In their letter, they say that if you work in a closed building, and the client (like a shopping mall, bank) has stopped the cleaning contract with OCS, they propose that they will suspend you without pay from next Wednesday 25th August. In their letter, they say that you could take your annual leave instead. OCS has not confirmed whether they will be getting the government wage subsidy yet.
E tū’s position is that OCS cannot suspend you without pay and that you shouldn’t have to use your annual leave to get paid in this situation. We will be making this position clear to OCS on behalf of E tū members. You can also let OCS know that you do not support this, and you want to be paid as normal during lockdown.
The most important thing you can do right now is to make sure you do not sign anything from the company where you agree to be suspended without pay. If you agree to take leave without pay now, or if you agree to take your annual leave, it will be hard to fix later.
We will be trying to find out exactly which buildings and members are affected by this proposal from OCS, so we can work with those affected directly. However, if you work at a school, the Ministry of Education has told schools that they should continue to pay their cleaner contracts, so this should mean that OCS’s proposal doesn’t affect school cleaners.
We will be back in touch as soon as I have an update. In the meantime, please talk to your union delegate or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further questions or concerns. E tū staff will be checking the email over the weekend. On Monday, please call E tū support as normal on 0800 186 466.
Please let your workmates know about this message in case they didn’t get it. If you have workmates who are not E tū members, they can join here www.etu.nz/join