About a month ago I used the Stats NZ Labour Cost Index to come up with the approximate distribution of payrises for unionised and non-unionised workers. I showed that most union members got payrises this year and most non-union members didn’t.
Turns out that was pretty much on the money.
The EPMU released figures yesterday showing that 95% of its members who negotiated a collective contract this year got a pay rise. Nearly every one of the other members, whose collectives weren’t up for negotiation this year, also got a pay rise because they had been won in earlier negotiations. In other words, if you are in a union (or you freeload off the union members at your workplace), you almost certainly got a payrise this year, at least to match inflation. On the other hand, if you aren’t a member of the union, the odds of you having received a payrise are more like 40%, and much of that will be freeloaders getting pay increases passed on to them that were won by the union*.
The lesson is simple, if you want a pay rise (and you don’t want to be parasite) you’ve got to join your union. If you don’t know which union you have on-site or your site isn’t organised, check out the CTU’s page on which union covers your industry.
In related union news, I hear the security guards and other Parliamentary Services staff won their dispute. The bosses retracted their demands for clawbacks on work conditions like redundancy and caved on giving the workers their pay rises. Well done. With the Police, police support staff, CYFS, and now Parliamentary Services all getting inflation-matching payrises the government’s unilaterally imposed pay freeze is crumbling.
Justice workers, hostpital support staff, and school support staff are still in dispute but if they stand strong they’ll win out. That’s the power in a union.
*(bosses do that because it lowers the value of joining the union – why join if you can be a freeloader? Of course, the bosses are playing the long game – the more people freeload, the weaker the union, and the smaller the payrises)