E tū is thrilled to welcome the introduction of the Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) Bill to Parliament today.
The bill will provide a regulatory foundation for setting pay and conditions across whole industries, through negotiations between employers and workers through their unions.
This will be transformational for many industries, especially those where workers employed by contractors suffer low wages and poor conditions as a result of competitive tendering.
E tū member and security guard, Rosey Ngakopu, is excited about the development.
“It’s awesome that we’re finally here, after years of campaigning,” Rosey says.
“Security guards like myself are ready for FPAs. Having minimum standards across the whole industry will be very important.
“It’s not just about pay. In our industry, guards also need FPAs to ensure we have the right conditions across the board, especially decent training and proper health and safety practices.
“We need an FPA in security, because we are worth more than the bare minimum.”
E tū Assistant National Secretary, Annie Newman, says that FPAs will provide a voice for workers who usually miss out on collective bargaining.
“Low paid workers often simply cannot negotiate fair pay and conditions, as they don’t have proper access to collective bargaining, and wages and conditions are suppressed by competitive tendering.
“Providing this foundation to protect workers from these effects is essential in building an economy that works better for everyone.
Annie says that FPAs make good business sense for firms that want to do the right thing for their workers.
“We’ve heard from employers that they would like to improve things for their workers, but they simply cannot lift wages or meaningfully improve conditions, or they will be undercut by competitors in the tendering process. This creates a race to the bottom – a race that workers lose.
“E tū will continue to work constructively with the Government on developing great FPA legislation as the bill goes through Parliament, and we’re excited about negotiating the first FPAs in Aotearoa very soon.”