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Fair Pay Agreements – set to deliver on real fairness at work

The Council of Trade Unions says the future for working New Zealanders looks much brighter thanks to today’s announcement that Fair Pay Agreements are much closer to becoming a reality. The announcement was made by the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Hon. Michael Wood.

“Fair Pay Agreements will provide a framework for fairness, they will allow for an industry-wide set of minimum standards for employment terms and conditions. These standards will include minimum pay rates, penal rates, and other conditions. Any sector or industry which has a Fair Pay Agreement will now have a better base of employment conditions, and all employees will now require employment agreements that recognise these standards as a minimum. We expect employers and employees to negotiate terms and conditions that better what is included in a Fair Pay Agreement if possible,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“Fair Pay Agreements will improve the lives of many New Zealanders and their families by lifting the wages of some of our lowest paid. In the past year we have all clearly seen the essential work that people working in our supermarkets, our cleaners, and security guards do. But they continue to be paid the minimum wage or close to it. Wages have been driven down simply to improve profit margins. We have seen this recently with the Wellington bus drivers and their dispute to settle their collective employment agreement.”

“The introduction of Fair Pay Agreements signals the biggest change to workplace laws in several decades. This is what working people in union have been campaigning for; a more balanced employment relationship between working people and employers – putting people back at the centre of employment.”

“People working as contractors do need to be covered by Fair Pay Agreements and it’s important that the Minister has said they will be ‘as soon as possible’. We see this as essential given the figures released this week showing a significant increase in the numbers of people working as contractors.”

“We look forward to supporting the progression of this draft law through to implementation,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.