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NEWS FOR NZNO AND E TŪ MEMBERS WORKING IN AGED CARE
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Kristine Bartlett, supporters and caregivers file their equal pay claims in June 2013
Carers equal pay case opens the door for other women Two years ago the Supreme Court ruled that union member Kristine Bartlett had the right to say that she was paid less as a caregiver because people working in female - dominated industries get paid less than jobs done mostly by men. Since then, teacher aides and midwives have also made equal pay claims. Hospitality staff, flight attendants and retail and bank workers could all put new cases in soon too. After the court decision, we saw that the Government might change the law to stop Kristine and all these other women from getting justice. Union members put lots of pressure on the Government, which forced them to put together an equal pay working group with unions and employers. The group was chaired by the now Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reedy. It wrote a report on the ‘principles’ of how groups of workers and employers should get to equal pay. A year after the working group was created the Government has said it will accept most of the ‘principles’. This was after signficant pressure from union members to move faster on equal pay. Carer and E tū delegate Marianne Bishop says the Government did the right thing, even if it took too long. “Thanks to the work begun by Kristine and thousands of other union members, women in other jobs can push for equal pay without hiring expensive lawyers and going to court. This case would never have happened if it hadn’t been for union members in aged care. So, while we keep waiting for a settlement of our case, it’s good to know we’ve opened the door for other women. We did it because we care.” The Government is also expected make an offer to settle the equal pay case of Kristine and 3000 other aged care workers in early 2017. We’ll keep you updated!
Alastair Duncan, E tū Industry Co-ordinator
Worksite updates Updates on collective bargaining and union wins from around the aged care sector.
Union members working at Oceania facilities across the country accepted an offer to settle their collective agreement. The new collective includes an across the board wage increase as well as improvements to parental leave entitlements that are better than the new legislation. Also included is an increase to the night allowance, and an agreement to work with the unions on issues around secure work and access to the higher steps in the pay scale.
An initial wage offer from Oceania was increased by 50% after a couple more days of bargaining. This was done through the hard work of the delegates on the negotiating team and through engagement from union members in the process from all around the country. Members took part in actions like signing a letter to Oceania about their ongoing claim for full “pass on” of the increased government funding to aged care. Members’ messages to Oceania and to the negotiating team were displayed during the second round of negotiations. We could only fit 100 on the wall, but there were more!
Bupa For the first time in many bargaining rounds we haven’t concluded collective bargaining by the end of the calendar year. We’re still working on how Bupa can provide decent, stable work for members. At the moment Care and Support workers can have their hours reduced or changed giving them very little certainty or protection. At the start of bargaining we raised the importance of job security for decent work. Bupa liked the idea of decent work, and now we’re working out how this can be put into practice in your collective agreement. Top: Princess Luzon-Marcial, member from Wesley Care Oceania in Auckland Bottom: Members from Woodlands Care Oceania in Motueka with messages for the bargaining team
The bargaining team is meeting again before Christmas and we hope to have a new collective agreement to take out to members in the new year. A big thank you to everyone who sent messages and information to the team, it made a positive difference for them all.
Lester Heights, now 100% union!
When your workplace is being sold it pays to be 100% union. No one knows that better than our delegate Diane Whitlock. Diane went through a sale when Radius sold Lester Heights Hospital some years ago, so she knew it was important to get everyone in the union and she did! We have just negotiated the collective agreement with the new employer, who has agreed to retain existing pay and conditions. Having your workplace sold is a stressful time for working people, who are often unsure what to expect. There are usually changes and it takes a bit of time getting to know the new employer so it’s good this workplace is 100% together and can support each other.
Cairnfield House on their way to a collective
Members at Cairnfield House in Whāngārei voted to negotiate a collective agreement between NZNO, E tū and their employer. NZNO organiser Odette Shaw met with workers in March and showed them the conditions in other collective agreements we hold. Workers realised that they could have a collective voice and a say in their working conditions if they joined together. Ebson Abraham has been a member of NZNO since 2012, and did a great job recruiting members. She says that the members at Cairnfield House are keen to provide the best quality care possible, and working with the employer via the union is one way to acheive this. Two delegates have now been elected and the next step will be a claims meeting to identify members’ issues to progress in their collective agreement. Top: Bupa bargaining team carrying on into 2017 Middle: Lester Heights delegate Diane Whitlock, (left) and new member Rachel Berg (right) with union membership forms Bottom: Cairnfield House members with Ebson Abraham (centre)
Aged Care Sector Public Holidays Factsheet 2016/2017 The summer holidays are coming up, know what your rights are at work. You can pull this handy sheet out and pin it to your notice board If you are working on a public holiday, you should be getting paid at least time and a half. This means your normal hourly rate plus half of that again for every hour you work. For example if you usually get $18 an hour, if you work on a public holiday you should be paid $18 + $9= $27 per hour. The only reason you won’t get time and a half is if your employment agreement says you should get more than this on public holidays. You also get a lieu day for every public holiday day worked, if that day would normally be a work day for you. This means you get an extra paid day’s holiday to take at another time.
If you work on a roster The question you need to ask is “Would I normally work on that day if it wasn’t a holiday?” ͙͙ If you work on a public holiday and it is a day you would have normally worked then you are entitled to a lieu day. ͙͙ If you work on a public holiday and it isn’t a day you would have normally worked then you are not entitled to a lieu day ͙͙ If you don’t work on a public holiday but it is a day you would have normally worked, then you are entitled to be paid the same amount you would have got if you had worked it on a normal day.
Sick and bereavement leave: If you were going to work on a public holiday, but end up taking sick leave or bereavement leave, the day is treated as an unworked public holiday. You should get paid normally for the day but won’t get time and a half or a lieu day. You should not have any deduction from your sick leave or bereavement leave balance.
A G E D C A R E S E C TO R A G E D C A R E S E C TO R
Photos of ‘Pohutukawa (New Zealand Christmas Tree)’ by Sids1 on flickr.com licensed under CC by 2.0 Photos of ‘Pohutukawa (New Zealand Christmas Tree)’ by Sids1 on flickr.com CC by D H licensed B S Eunder C TO R 2.0
These are the public holidays coming up Christmas Day
Sunday 25 December OR Tuesday 27 December
Monday 26 December
New Year’s Day
Sunday 1 January OR Tuesday 3 January
Day after New Year’s
Monday 2 January
This year Christmas Day and New Years Day are on Sunday 25 December and Sunday 1 January. If you would normally work on these Sundays, the public holiday stays on the Sunday for you. If you would not usually work on these days, they get transferred to the next Tuesday, if you would normally work on Tuesday. Either way, you only get to take each public holiday once. The question to ask yourself is “When would I normally work?” ͙͙ I would normally work on the Sunday. You are entitled to the public holiday on the Sunday. ͙͙ I would not normally work on the Sunday but would normally work on the Tuesday. You are entitled to the public holiday on the Tuesday. ͙͙ I would normally work on the Sunday and the Tuesday. You are entitled to the public holiday on the Sunday, but not on the Tuesday.
This sheet won’t cover every single situation, but explains your minimum rights. Make sure you understand your right to be fairly paid, and enjoy your break! For assistance or concerns, please contact your delegate or give us a call.
www.etu.nz FB: EtuUnion 0800 1 UNION
www.nzno.org.nz FB: NZNursesOrganisation 0800 28 38 48
A G E D C A R E S E C TO R Photos of ‘Pohutukawa (New Zealand Christmas Tree)’ by Sids1 on flickr.com licensed under CC by 2.0
Changes to residency affect aged care Michael Woodhouse, the Minister of Immigration announced major changes to the New Zealand Residency Programme on 11 October. The ‘points’ required to qualify for residency have gone up from 140 to 160. This is expected to reduce the number of migrants to New Zealand by about 5,000 people each year for the next two years. In addition, the Skilled Migrant category for getting residency was put under review. This review had a consultation time frame of only 12 days for organisations to submit their views to the Government. The impact of the increased number of points for residency is significant. The Cabinet paper advising the Government on these changes indicated that this would disqualify about half the Registered Nurses working in Aged Care who successfully applied for residency last year. 247 of the 520 nurses who achieved residency would not have the higher points needed under the new standard. These changes are also likely to discourage Internationally Qualified Nurses from staying in New Zealand. The Nursing Council has already reported an increase in the number of migrant nurses who register in New Zealand and then use the TransTasman Mutual Recognition agreement to go straight to Australia. From a health workforce perspective, these changes do not help us deliver the skilled workforce we need. They are also not consistent with global obligations and goals to improve equity and self-sustainablity. They do not offer security to migrant workers wishing to settle. We would like to see an immigration strategy that: ͙͙ focuses on retaining skilled migrants; ͙͙ offers skilled migrants security from revolving renewals of working visas ͙͙ is based on accurate information and evidence ͙͙ offers improved outcomes for workforce sustainability, flexibility and equity, and ͙͙ is consistent with global commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. The NZNO submission and the cabinet papers can be viewed online at: www.nzno.org.nz/Portals/0/Files/Documents/Activities/ Submissions/1_2016-11%20SMCReview_NZNO.pdf www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/immigration/oia-responses/
David Wait, NZNO Industrial Adviser
www.etu.nz FB: EtuUnion 0800 1 UNION
www.nzno.org.nz FB: NZNursesOrganisation 0800 28 38 48