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These ERA changes are bad medicine

Bad medicine


The Government is planning law changes that undermine fundamental human and employment rights. The changes will give your employer the ability to reduce your pay and conditions. They are bad for the workforce and bad for families. We need to advocate against them and tell the Government we want fair employment laws. Employers will be able to opt out of MECA bargaining. Employers will be able to withdraw from bargaining for multi-employer collective agreements (MECAs). This could dismantle MECAs that have brought steady improvements and national pay and conditions for the vast majority of NZNO members.

No access to your personal employment information. If your job is under threat, your employer will be able to withhold information from you under some circumstances. This may remove your ability to effectively defend yourself in a disciplinary investigation or to challenge your employer’s decision to make you redundant. Job protection will be stripped away. Workplaces with fewer than 20 employees: Jobs and conditions will not be protected when contracts for services are transferred to a new employer. Workers in larger workplaces: Outgoing employers will be required to provide the incoming employer with all your personal information such as wage and holiday records, and HR files, including performance, disciplinary and grievance information.

Employers will be able to walk away from bargaining Your employer will be able to apply to the Employment Relations Authority to declare bargaining is over. That means:

What can I do?

͙͙ Employers will have the power to pressure you to sign an Individual Employment Agreement

͙͙ Keep yourself up-to-date at

͙͙ Industrial action will become illegal once bargaining is declared over ͙͙ NZNO will have to wait to re-initiate bargaining for 60 days

͙͙ Sign on to help with the campaign by emailing nurses@

New staff can be employed on less pay and worse conditions. Currently, new employees are covered by the collective agreement in their workplace for the first 30 days. This protection will be stripped away so new employees can be paid less and open to instant dismissal. Over time this will reduce everyone’s terms and conditions. It will be more difficult to take industrial action. The changes will make it very difficult to take industrial action in support of improved terms and conditions and even if there is a threat to your health and safety. Your employer will be able to deduct a portion of your pay for a partial strike. Meal and rest breaks Your employer will be able to restrict the times and durations for tea and meal breaks and how long you must work before you get a break.

“We need a law that strengthens collective bargaining”

͙͙ Make sure new employees in your workplace join NZNO as soon they start

“We need a law to lift wages, not reduce them”

͙͙ Make a personal submission to the select committee dealing with this Bill – we’ll provide you with all the information and support you need ͙͙ Tell your friends and family about these changes – and ask them to help with the campaign

Level 3, Willbank Court, 57 Willis Street, Wellington 6011 PO Box 2128, Wellington 6140 Phone 0800 28 38 48 06/2013

ERA bad medicine  

Bad medicine: How the Employment Relations Bill will affect the nursing team.

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