Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, July 1st, 2018 - 50 comments
Categories: business, class war, cost of living, discrimination, employment, equality, minimum wage, wages, workers' rights - Tags: IRD, living wage, workers' rights
A few weeks ago, it was reported that
That’s good. And in line with commitments made during the election campaign, there’s a “Triangulation Bill” at the Select Committee stage of proceedings that would end the rort of workers by employment agencies. Currently, a worker employed through an employment agency has no claim against the employer who actually runs their place of work. So the purpose of the triangulation bill is
..to ensure that employees employed by one employer, but working under the control and direction of another business or organisation, are not deprived of the right to coverage of a collective agreement, and to ensure that such employees are not subject to a detriment in their right to allege a personal grievance.
So far, so good.
Taking those two movements in the area of workplace relations, would it not be reasonable to expect the public service to prepare for or even pre-figure some of those changes? It seems not.
IRD have changed the agency it uses for some 130 of its call centre workers, and the Employment Agreements they are being asked to sign, quite frankly, beggar fcking belief.
Their new employer will be Madison Recruitment. Against the backdrop of changes coming through, IRD have chosen to use an agency that expects workers to accept not necessarily being told what their wage will be; nor an indication of where they are to work; or even a description of the work, and no indication of expected hours of work.
Just widgets then. Not people.
And IRD spokesperson, Pete van Schaardenburg (that’s him in the picture), is cute enough when asked for comment, to point out that the call centre workers workers are not IRD employees and claim it would inappropriate for him to comment on the Employment Agreements offered by the Agency that IRD itself had chosen as the result of a tender process.
So core public service workers will get a living wage, but not workers in core public services who are employed through agencies. And the living wage will be rolled out to casual workers over time, but again, not if they are employed through an employment agency.
Does the Triangulation Bill before select committee confront that iniquity? Not being familiar with the details of the bill, I’m not sure. But regardless, what is going on when, on the one hand government has made all these noises about improving worker’s wages and conditions, and on the other, government agencies are contracting out through employment agencies such as Madison with their repulsive Employment Agreements in a move that could easily be seen as a wage cutting exercise?
Update. After publishing this post I came across a press release from Unite where they state that Stuart Nash has not responded to their communications over IRD contracting out to Madison. I’d be thinking that’s not a very good look at all, given that Nash was also “unavailable for comment” when the stuff article linked to in the post was published.