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Government without a handbrake should be able to move faster

The Council of Trade Unions congratulates the Labour Party and the Green Party on their successful election campaigns. “It now appears clear that Labour will be able to form a strong compassionate government,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“Working people and their unions have expectations that a new government without a handbrake will move faster and further to support people and the environment.”

“While important progress was made in the last three years, we expect to see more and faster positive change in the next term.”

“People have spoken and we have collectively chosen to elect a progressive government, without a handbrake, which will place people at the heart of decisions. This next Government has been given an overwhelming mandate to end poverty and inequality in New Zealand. A strong union movement is at the heart of that.”

We expect the new Labour led government to take swift action on their election commitments including –

1. Safer sick leave – as per their election promise, we look forward to the increase to 10 days sick leave being put into law in their first 100 days in office, enabling people to take sick leave from the first day of work, and getting rid of National’s unfair changes around medical certificates. 

2. Fair Pay Agreements – all the work has been done, and now is the time for implementation including the passing of legislation in line with the Framework for Fairness principles for a good FPA law and the Joint Working Group recommendations

3.  Make Work Safe – by increasing funding to WorkSafe, reviewing the Health and Safety at Work Act, ensuring there are elected Health and Safety representatives in all work places, ensuring there are better protections against psychosocial harm and empowering working people to keep their work safe under the law. 

4. Extending the Living Wage to all contractors in the public sector.

“Looking ahead, it’s time existing policy development on industry transformation, active labour markets and support for displaced working people, including through social insurance models, moves from talk to implementation. New Zealanders have shown at the ballot box that they’re impatient and want to transition to a future of work that is higher value and lower carbon.”

“The union movement is a critical part of this change. Together we can rebuild a better New Zealand which meets the needs of our most vulnerable, because that’s the kind of New Zealand we need; a place which looks after those that need it the most.”

“Working people are looking forward to working in collaboration with this government. Both Labour and the Greens have committed to listening to the voices of working people. We can make real meaningful change when we work together,” Wagstaff said.