CTU supports improved laws on equal pay

Source: Council of Trade Unions – CTU

Today oral submissions begin on the Equal Pay Amendment Bill and the Council of Trade Unions is one of the first off the blocks to support this law at Select Committee.

“We all know that Kiwis believe in fairness. This Bill will make New Zealand a fairer place by making sure women are paid fairly,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

Jeanette Wilkinson will also be making an oral submission today. Jeanette is a medical secretary, a role she has been in for over 18 years and she’s passionate that all working women should have a brighter future, “Every day I make a difference in people’s lives. I transcribe technical, complicated information about people’s bodies. The field I specialise in is complex. it’s my job to understand the medications and procedures being described so that sick people can get better. The doctors tell me what an important job I do and patients and their families value me but I have never earnt enough to save for my retirement.”

“I want anyone who works in a role which has been mostly done by women, to be paid a fair wage, a wage which finally values the importance of their work. A wage which allows them to support themselves and their families and allows them to save for their retirement,” Wilkinson said.

“The pathways for this legislation were worked through extremely thoroughly by the Joint Working Group on Equal Pay. Agreement was reached and the legislation reflects that process,” Wagstaff said.

“There is still more that can be done to ensure that equal pay becomes a reality and we’ll be seeking some important improvements to the Bill. But this is an excellent step forward. We will continue to work with government and business to break down the barriers which prevent gender equality,” Wagstaff said.


Living Wage for Westpac

Source: Council of Trade Unions – CTU

SThe Council of Trade Unions is welcoming growing awareness in the business sector that lifting incomes is a priority, with today’s announcement that Westpac will be an accredited Living Wage employer.

“It’s good to see that at least some parts of the business sector are recognising that low wages are a problem. Employers have the power to improve wages. Paying a Living Wage alongside other important initiatives like Fair Pay Agreements, equal pay and ensuring that working Kiwis have healthy and safe workplaces, are all elements of what will make work future proofed in New Zealand,” said CTU Secretary, Sam Huggard.

The move follows yesterday’s release of proposals to establish Fair Pay Agreements to lift pay across industries by the committee’s chair Sir Jim Bolger.

“Simon Power, another former senior National Party figure, has today also called on other employers to lift wages. We hope that fair minded businesses, and indeed the National Party, will move beyond their unfathomable opposition to working as a country on a plan to lift wages, rather than just leaving it to chance, which has clearly not worked.”

“The number of employers who are enthusiastically engaging in the living wage movement is increasing, a sign that real momentum is building, change is happening. Our congratulations to Westpac, to the bank workers’ union FIRST Union and to the Living Wage movement,” Huggard said.


Labour statistics show more effort from government required

Source: Council of Trade Unions – CTU

The Council of Trade Unions is welcoming signs today, in the Labour Market Statistics, of stronger pay rises coming through but says there is a long way still to go.

“It is good to see a strong rise in the average wage over the last year, and that more Kiwi workers are getting pay rises, but more must be done to deliver for all working people,” said CTU President Richard Wagstaff.

In the private sector, the average wage rose 3.7 percent over the year but in the public sector, despite the effect of the nurses’ settlement, the average wage rose only 1.8 percent. Many working people are still not getting pay rises, and those who do get rises are too often not getting enough to meet rising housing costs and to get ahead. The Labour Cost Index showed the rate for the job was rising only as fast as price rises at 1.9 percent.”

“There is much more to do to ensure workers are getting a fair share of the income they generate. Fair Pay Agreements and improved collective bargaining are urgently needed as the implementation of these will have a real difference on people’s lives,”

“This Government must step up the urgency and resources it puts into supporting people out of work, to help them into work, and into support for industry to develop good high value jobs that pay decent wages,” Wagstaff said.


The outlook for 2019

Source: Council Of Trade Unions (CTU) – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: The outlook for 2019

 This commentary looks at the year ahead. The Prime Minister has described this as the year of ‘delivery’ for the Government and she aint wrong. In addition we need to keep an eye on what’s happening in New Zealand’s economy and society, and how international events could affect us. 

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Fair Pay Agreements; making work fairer for Kiwis

Source: Council of Trade Unions – CTU