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Governments COVID 19 economic package welcomed

The Council of Trade Unions is welcoming today’s significant package as a first stage to support New Zealand working people and our economy as a result of COVID-19. “This package provides an immediate boost to get through these challenging times,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“Ensuring that working kiwis, including those working as contractors or casuals, are financially supported so that they can self-isolate and take sick leave, is tremendously important. Employers have a pivotal role to play in responding to the impacts of COVID-19 and slowing down the spread. The government is doing its bit – now business and employers must do theirs.”

“The announcement of the COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme provides employers with a critical boost to maintain their workforce during this critical period.”

“Ensuring our health workforce, including those working with communities to stop the spread of disease (public health experts), are getting the resources they need to do their jobs is critical. An extra $500 million for health services is a good start for a sector approaching winter. Having a strong public service is a key component to what will get us through this.”

“If workplaces aren’t already prepared, now is the time to act. Employers need to be working with their employees and unions to plan collectively. Special attention needs to be paid to those work-forces who are the most vulnerable – aged care, cleaners, health workforce, public sector, retail and hospitality working people are all in more vulnerable positions.”

“New Zealanders believe in the value of strong communities. This strong belief in community and the value that we place in having strong public institutions means that we, as a nation are well placed to deal with COVID-19,” Wagstaff said.