Unite Support Admin vacancy in Auckland

Source: Unite Union New Zealand

Unite has a vacancy for a Support Administrator for our Auckland Office (Kingsland).

The position is permanent for 40 hours a week, although there is flexibility for reduced hours and date/times of work are negotiable.

The role is a vital aspect of our operation. You will be responsible for the logistical support for union organisers and delegates and effective and co-ordinating effective and timely responses to member enquiries responses.

A detailed list of responsibilities can be downloaded here.

We are looking for applicants with the following key competencies:

  • Good writing and reading skills
  • Attention to detail and high level of accuracy
  • Organisational and time management skills
  • Reliability and initiative
  • Ability to work well in a team but also be able to self-manage
  • Good communication and people skills
  • Able to solve problems efficiently
  • Computer skills, specifically familiarity with Word, Excel and Email software
  • Discretion with confidential information

Terms and conditions are offered in accordance with the Unite Staff Employment Agreement. Unite is an accredited Living Wage employer.

Please apply in writing (email preferred), including a CV and contact details for up to three referees. Applications and requests for more information can be sent to:

Gerard Hehir
Unite Union
gerard@unite.org.nz

Phone 021 02940345
Fax: 09 846 9509
PO Box 41211, St Lukes, Auckland 1346

Applications close 5pm on Tuesday 26th February 2019

 

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Changes urged to Equal Pay Amendment bill – E tū

Source: Etu Union

E tū says without key changes to the Equal Pay Amendment bill, few women will be able to successfully pursue an equal pay claim.

E tū Assistant National Secretary, John Ryall appeared before today’s Workforce and Education Select Committee hearing on the bill, together with E tū delegate, Marianne Bishop.

John says the union welcomes the Government’s decision to retain the Equal Pay Act 1972, which the previous National government would have scrapped.

The union is also pleased claimants must no longer prove they have a case before they can lodge a pay equity claim.

“However, too many hurdles remain,” says John.

“The process remains unnecessarily complex and time-consuming, and it needs to be simplified.”

John says the union’s position is founded on the principles of the Joint Working Group on pay equity, as well as the Court of Appeal ruling in the Terranova case which led to the equal pay settlement for care and support workers.

“The court found the Equal Pay Act 1972 was deficient and in need of change, which we support, but we don’t want it changed so it’s more difficult for women to get pay equity.

“There is a risk as things stand of closing the door for other women, because it’s so difficult that people give up.”

E tū delegate and care and support worker, Marianne Bishop says the new bill is an improvement on the Equal Pay Act 1972.

But she says, while women in unions will have support to navigate the process, many individual claimants would struggle.

She says it’s critical all women get the resources they need, including help with comparators so they can argue their case.

“The bill is better than it was but it’s quite complex for an individual person to navigate. Employers will have lawyers to help them but many women will flounder.

“There needs to be a support system – an agency – to help these people through the process,” she says.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

John Ryall E tū Assistant National Secretary ph. 027 520 1380

To contact Marianne, please call:

Karen Gregory-Hunt, E tū Communications Officer, ph. 022 269 1170.

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Canterbury bakers ordered to pay $115,000 for worker exploitation

Source: Employment New Zealand

A Canterbury bakery, its director and his wife have been ordered to pay over $115,000 plus interest, including $75,000 in wage arrears, for seriously exploiting and underpaying two migrant employees.

La Wheat Limited, director Wannakawattawaduge Janaka Sujeewa Fernando and Arumadura Udeni Lakmali Fernando have been penalised at the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) for serious and persistent breaches.

The ERA fined the company and the Fernandos $40,000 in penalties – the company was ordered to pay $20,000, with the remainder spilt between Mr and Mrs Fernando.

The ERA also ordered the company to pay over $75,000 in arrears to the employees, who were not paid the minimum wage or any payments owed under the Holidays Act, including one who wasn’t paid at all.

Labour Inspectorate Regional Manager Jeanie Borsboom says, “In addition to La Wheat, Mr and Mrs Fernando were both party to and responsible for significantly exploiting these workers, and therefore individually and personally penalised by the ERA.

“One employee worked 985 hours without being paid at all, in addition to working in poor conditions with long hours and no breaks.”

The ERA stated in the determination that it was hard to see how worse a breach of the Minimum Wage Act can be, than to deliberately not pay an employee any wages at all.

Throughout the Inspectorate’s investigation and the subsequent ERA hearing the Fernandos continued to assert that one employee only worked 35 hours per week and the other was not working. 

However, the ERA found that that the first employee worked considerably more hours, and that the Fernandos’ persistent denial that the second was not working for them defied all reasonable credibility.

“The Fernandos consistently took advantage of the pair, deliberately exploiting vulnerable workers and depriving them of basic employment rights,” says Ms Borsboom.

“Migrant workers are a vulnerable part of the employment market and should not be exploited for the benefit of individuals and companies.”

During the period of the pair’s employment, La Wheat Limited operated La Wheat bakeries in Methven, Bush Inn Shopping Centre and Leeston. The company still operates its Leeston bakery, La Wheat Methven has since closed and La Wheat Bush Inn was sold to new owners.

“It is important for consumers to be aware of how businesses treat their employees, and use their right to take their business elsewhere to voice their disapproval of illegal treatment of workers,” says Ms Borsboom.

 “These types of businesses not only exploit vulnerability. They also undermine legitimate businesses who are doing the right thing by their workers and start a ‘race to the bottom’.”

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What’s tripping us up? How Kiwis are falling over

Source: Accident Compensation Commission (ACC)


Released 19/02/19

Data-heads rejoice! We’re proactively publishing our 2018 statistics on injuries resulting from people falling over. 

Falls data – data.govt.nz website

Top trends

We sliced and diced the 2018 statistics and here are the top trends:

  • Falling over is the most common way of injuring yourself in New Zealand.
  • Injuries from falling represent a whopping 39% of all ACC claims and cost $1.1 billion.
  • 785,063 new fall related claims were made in 2018, up slightly from 781,122 in 2017.

Keen for more titbits? Here are three more interesting points the statistics show.

1. The prize for ‘most popular place to fall over’ goes to… your own home

Home should be a safe zone. But last year it took the thorny crown for ‘Most Popular Fall Location’, with 388,310 people getting injured by falling over at home.

In an interesting twist, our data shows a slightly higher proportion of injuries are happening in homes in less urban regions. These include places like Tasman, Northland, Southland.

2. Women are slightly more likely to be injured by falling over

398,337 women had injuries caused from falling, compared with 386,725 men.

3. Age is the biggest risk

If you’re under 19 years old, you’re more likely to be injured through a fall, as 234,468 unfortunate young people could attest to in 2018. 

However, older people have more severe falls and therefore worse injuries on average. Every year, one in three people over 65 injures themselves in a fall. This rises to one in two once you reach 80.

A few more statistics on the 65-plus age group:

  • 193,954 older people had injuries from falling.
  • These injuries came at a cost of $267,275,845.
  • Falls accounted for two-thirds of all ACC claims in the 85+ age group.
  • A serious fall, resulting in a fracture can cost up to $120,000 to repair and rehabilitate

One way to reduce your risk of falling over, if you’re over 65, is to increase your core strength and your balance. Our Live Stronger for Longer community strength and balance classes are one way to do that. There are classes all over New Zealand. Check out the website to see a list of classes near you.

Live Stronger for Longer – website

If you’re not able to get out of the house to attend community group strength and balance classes, in-home strength and balance may be another option.

Speak to your GP to find out more.

Keep an eye out for more injury statistics in future

We’ll be regularly publishing our injury statistics. Keep an eye out here and on the data.govt.nz website for regular data drops. 

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Asia Pacific deadliest region for journalists – E tū

Source: Etu Union

E tū, the union for journalists says it’s disturbing that the Asia Pacific region has once again been named as the deadliest region for journalists.

The 2018 annual Killed List, released by the International Federation of Journalists and now in its 29th year, records the deaths of 95 journalists and media workers.

A third of deaths were in the Asia Pacific region, where 32 journalists & media workers were killed – 34% of the global total.

It is the second year in a row the region has been named the most dangerous for journalists.

“As the report states, the pursuit of the truth makes journalists unpopular everywhere. In many regions, it’s deadly,” says Paul Tolich, E tū Senior National Industrial Officer.

Paul notes the high death toll in the Philippines, where three journalists died last year – 12 have been killed there since 2016.

The report notes the forces behind the figures, including increasingly polarised views globally, “the rise of dangerous nationalist and populist forces in many countries and the stigmatization of journalists and media by politicians and the enemies of media freedom.”  

“While journalists in this country work in a benign environment, this report is a stark reminder this is not the case for their counterparts in many parts of the world,” says Paul.

“The report is also a testament to the bravery of the many working journalists prepared to risk their lives to shine a light in dark places – despite the risks.”

ENDS

For comment, please contact:

Paul Tolich E tū Senior National Industrial Officer ph. 027 593 5595

The report is available via this link:

https://www.ifj.org/fileadmin/user_upload/IFJ_2018_Killed_Report_FINAL_pages.pdf

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Peter Cowan: Making the choice to amputate at 15

Source: Accident Compensation Commission (ACC)


Released 18/02/19

Aged 15, Peter Cowan was cycling home from school. He was training for the IronMāori triathlon that he’d signed up for with a few of his cousins.

It was a normal day – he put his hand out to indicate a turn and turned his head to check traffic.

He was clipped by an oncoming car.

The initial impact split his upper leg open. He lost a lot of blood but was conscious following the accident.

Fortunately, two nurses arrived at the scene. Peter says he’s lucky to be alive.

Life after the accident

That was just the beginning of Peter’s journey. Eight years later as an above-the-knee amputee, Peter is jogging, going to the gym, and surfing. He also competes on the national and international stage in Para va’a competitions.

In New Zealand able-bodied Va’a is known as Waka Ama, or canoe outrigging. It’s a sprint sport, or canoe long-distance sport.

Deciding to amputate

After the accident, Peter had regained some feeling in his toes, but he says it wasn’t enough for him to be satisfied. He didn’t have a lot of feeling in his leg and had a ‘drop foot’, where he couldn’t lift his foot properly. Peter says, “It was like a piece of meat just hanging there.”

He had a choice to make – keep his leg or amputate. Peter says it gave him a sense of responsibility for his own body.

He made a trip to the artificial limb centre in Wellington and met other amputees. He met a former firefighter who was living life to the best of his abilities – he played sport and travelled overseas. It inspired Peter seeing that he could still live a normal life as an amputee, if that’s what he decided.

“I chose to take that guy’s example and use it for myself. When I made the decision, I was content with it. I booked in the appointment like a normal day and had the operation soon after my NCEA level 1 exams.”

Discovering Waka Ama

An active teenager at 15, being told after his accident he couldn’t run or do anything of that nature was devastating for Peter, but his friends and family got him through.

In his last year of high school, he discovered paddling. It was the first real physical activity he’d done since the amputation. He kept going and soon fell in love with the sport.

“Being out on the water is therapeutic. I found something that helped me in my rehabilitation. At first I thought it was just a physical thing, but it was a mental thing too, to get out on the water and trust the boat and myself.”

Last year, Peter competed at the World Waka Ama Championships in Tahiti, taking home two gold medals, a silver and two fourth placings in Para va’a events. He also attended the 2018 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Portugal, finishing 4th place in Final B of his division.

Peter’s story shows that life doesn’t end after an accident.

Getting involved in Para sport

People can get involved in Para sport at any level. If you know someone that would be interested in finding out more about Para sport opportunities, refer them to Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) and encourage them to register their interest.

Paralympics New Zealand

We’ve partnered with PNZ since 2015 to help improve rehabilitation outcomes and quality of life for our clients. We want to motivate and inspire people to live active lives, via positive role models and providing opportunities to try Para sport. It also provides a strong sense of community.

Athletes sharing their life stories

This video and article are part of a series highlighting how everyday New Zealanders embraced Para sport after a serious injury. The first in the series explored Paralympian Corey Peters’ story.

Corey Peters: “Sit skiing gave me a sense of freedom”

The second article told Susan Evans’ story about getting back on the horse.

Susan Evans: Getting back on the horse after a lower leg amputation

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WorkSafe joins Young Farmer of the Year Competition

Source: Worksafe New Zealand

WorkSafe New Zealand has today announced a partnership with the FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition.

WorkSafe Chief Executive Nicole Rosie says the partnership will connect New Zealand’s future farming leaders with health and safety in an engaging setting, build rapport with rural communities and help create generational change.

“We want to help those farmers just starting out to understand health and safety is about caring for themselves and their people. Good health and safety practices are at the heart of every successful farm business.”

For the Young Farmer of the Year, WorkSafe will run individual health and safety challenges at each of the seven Regional Finals as well as a single event at the Grand Final, created collaboratively between Young Farmers’ representatives and local WorkSafe staff. The first Regional Final is being held in Milton tomorrow.

As part of the support, WorkSafe will also be running challenges in the AgriKidsNZ and Junior Young Farmer of the Year sections.

New Zealand Young Farmers Chief Executive Lynda Coppersmith says the partnership with WorkSafe is the perfect fit.

“Our organisation has a strong focus on health and safety. We want young farmers to become old farmers, that’s what makes this partnership a perfect fit and we’re hopeful it will help efforts to improve health and safety on farms and in agri-businesses.”

WorkSafe joins other sponsors including Ravensdown, New Holland, Honda, Stihl, FMG, Massey University, AGMARDT, Lincoln University, Betacraft and Meridian.

Media contact details

WorkSafe

For more information you can contact our Media Team using our media request form. Alternatively, you can:

Phone: 021 823 007 or

Email: media@worksafe.govt.nz

New Zealand Young Farmers

For more information contact Brad Markham:

Phone: 027 2825 221

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Response to Miriam Dean Review recommendations published

Source: Accident Compensation Commission (ACC)


Released 15/02/19

A report detailing our responses to an independent review of dispute resolution processes is now available.

ACC’s responses to an independent review of dispute resolution processes

Work to implement the recommendations of the review by Miriam Dean QC is part of wider, and on-going changes we’re making to become a more client-centred organisation. Providing clients with access to fair, effective and timely dispute resolution has been a strong focus for us for some time. 

Over the past two years, we’ve worked with MBIE and Fairway Resolution Services to make it easier for clients to challenge a decision we’ve made. This is a central theme of the Dean Review’s 20 recommendations. Nineteen of those recommendations have been actioned, and work on the 20th – relating to data collection and the complex issues around accessing medical evidence – has been substantially completed.  

We believe we’ve made meaningful improvements to dispute resolution processes in terms of clients’ access to justice, and making sure they have greater support and a more transparent process when challenging a decision we’ve made. 

We’re planning further improvements focused on resolving clients’ concerns before the issue turns into a dispute, and on making it easier for them to review a decision if they’re not satisfied with our responses.

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Work-related health update – February 2019

Source: Worksafe New Zealand


Adventure activity notification

Asbestos removal

Electrical and gas

Major Hazard Facilities

Hazardous work

Occupational diseases

Extractives

Petroleum

Geothermal

Raise a health or safety concern                                                                                            

If someone has been seriously injured or become seriously ill as a result of work, you must notify us.

Not sure if you need to notify us? If you’re unsure of what needs to be notified please read our guide What events need to be notified?

Our ‘Notify WorkSafe now’ tool will guide you through the process.

Notify WorkSafe now 

If someone has died as a result of work, please call us immediately on 0800 030 040 (24/7).

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E tū critical of Visionstream job cuts – E tū

Source: Etu Union

E tū says job cuts affecting 11 technicians who service Chorus’s copper network in Northland may be the start of sweeping changes to the way the network is maintained.

The job cuts were announced today and E tū understands Visionstream, which is contracted by Chorus to run the Northland network is set to replace them with dependent sub-contractors.

“That is the same model used to install Ultra-Fast Broadband, and is closely linked to labour exploitation,” says E tū Industry Coordinator, Joe Gallagher.

Some 72 sub-contractors face charges related to labour abuses after a sting run by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Joe says the Northland job losses will be very hard for the people involved – “they’ve lost quality, full-time permanent jobs.”

He says the union is also gravely concerned that the sub-contracting model used by Visionstream and favoured by Chorus is about to be rolled out across the whole copper network.

“When a company like Chorus decides to cut costs by using contractors like Visionstream, it means no job is safe. Visionstream appears to have no scruples about how its subbies are treated,” he says.

“We know the sub-contracting model has led to major and near universal exploitation.”

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Joe Gallagher Industry Coordinator ph. 027 591 0015

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