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FPAs represent a new era for workers’ rights

Working people across Aotearoa New Zealand are celebrating the Fair Pay Agreements Bill passing into law today.

More than 50 workers attended the third reading at Parliament to witness the passing of the Bill. This included hospitality workers, early childhood sector workers, cleaners, security guards, bus drivers and their unions. The members led a waiata to commemorate the occasion.

NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff said FPAs were the beginning of a new chapter in New Zealand’s employment history.

“This is a truly momentous occasion. We are reversing 30 years of a failed policy that was part of the Employment Contracts Act. Working people across the motu will now be able to have a greater say in the terms and conditions they receive.”

Wagstaff said the timing coincided with the FPA roadshow launching tomorrow.

“As part of Make Work Fair, we are travelling the country to talk to working people about FPAs, and how they can transform the way we do business.”

Workplace Relations Minister Michael Wood acknowledged the role late NZCTU President Helen Kelly played in developing the Bill.

“This bill is about supporting the most vulnerable workers, including the essential workers who kept us safe through Covid-19.”

Fast-food worker Xavier Walsh said Fair Pay Agreements were desperately needed for hospitality workers.

“FPAs represent an opportunity to stop the race to the bottom. To stop our whanau and friends from going over to Australia to get better rates. We have the opportunity to ensure that everyone around us actually has enough money to put food on the table, and pay rent, and pay the electricity and heating bills.”

The Make Work Fair Roadshow begins tomorrow in Auckland. More information about the roadshow can be found here.