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The Employment Relations Amendment Bill Information for delegates and members – June 2013
Employment Relations Amendment Bill The Government is planning more changes to our employment laws. The changes, set out in the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, are designed to give your employer more power to reduce your pay and conditions.
The changes – in summary The changes proposed in this Bill will allow employers to: • Refuse to settle your collective agreement. Employers will be able to apply to the Employment Relations Authority to declare bargaining is over. Once that happens, they’ll be able to pressure individuals to agree to lesser terms and conditions, and industrial action becomes unlawful. • Pay new workers less. New workers will be no longer be covered by the collective agreement in their workplace for their first 30 days.
The changes – in summary • Opt out of bargaining for multi-employer collective agreements (MECAs) – so employers can undercut their competitors by paying lower wages • Restrict access to your employment information – your employer will be able to withhold information from you if, for example, it refers to another person. This could make it impossible to defend yourself in a disciplinary situation or to challenge a redundancy. • In some jobs, workers will lose the right to take meal and rest breaks. This isn’t good for safety or fatigue.
These changes will hurt us all • These changes will allow bad employers to act even worse, and in doing so they will undermine the wages and conditions of all Kiwis. • The Government is pushing through these changes to cover for the fact that it has failed to create jobs, lift wages and grow the New Zealand economy. They want to make everyone pay for their failure.
There is a better way • As union members we stand for something better. • We stand for fair employment laws that give all workers a living wage, safer workplaces and a real say over the issues that affect us at work.
What’s the timeframe for the Bill? • The Bill has been introduced into the House and has just had its First Reading • It has been referred to the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee – submissions are open – the closing date is Thursday 25 July • The submission period is the time we’ll really need to make our voices heard • We need your ideas for this campaign!
What you can do The changes set out in the Employment Relations Amendment Bill will be debated in Parliament in coming weeks and will be the subject of an active campaign by unions and other community organisations. • Sign on to the campaign • Make a submission • Talk to your friends and family
For a better working life New Zealand Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi For more info or to offer your help, talk to your PSA delegate, your organiser or PSA campaign organiser conor. [email protected] org. nz