Working people across Aotearoa New Zealand are excited that the process for improving standards and conditions through Fair Pay Agreements kicks off for three key industries tomorrow.
Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs), which became law last month, will allow working people to bargain collectively in an industry or occupation.
Tomorrow, three key industries will begin the initiation process for an FPA. Hospitality workers, bus drivers and supermarket workers will be the first industries to undergo the process.[i]
NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff said the initiations represented a historic moment for working people.
“FPAs represent a new beginning for working people, and the restoration of their rights. FPAs will help lift conditions for workers across entire industries.”
Supermarket worker Nerissa Harding believed the change would be momentous for low-paid workers.
“Fair Pay Agreements will mean I can finally move beyond just surviving and can begin thriving. It’s about me and my workmates being treated fairly – something we haven’t had for so long. This will really improve their working lives, and the lives of those around them.
McDonald’s worker Xavier Walsh said the food industry would greatly benefit from an FPA.
“Fair Pay Agreements mean we can sit down at the table with employers and figure out what’s best for our industry. As a hospo worker, I’m super keen to see fair wages and conditions at the forefront of discussions as to how we can improve everyone’s lot, both employers and workers. This really is a golden opportunity to make workplaces healthier for all.”
Bus driver Sid Kumar said his industry deserved better working conditions.
“Fair Pay Agreements are about more than just pay. Health and safety is a huge issue facing bus drivers – in Auckland alone, a bus driver is assaulted every single week. We want an FPA that includes better health and safety training and a greater level of driver resources. It’s time our concerns around driver safety are taken seriously and an FPA will help us achieve that.”