National’s big election promise in 2008 was to close the wage gap with Australia. They’re failing, as our wages fall behind theirs under National’s economic mismanagement and employer-centric policies.
But there are some who are doing better than others in the pay stakes: Union members.
Victoria University has put out a study showing that the 20% of workers who are on union-negotiated collective contracts on average got a raise of 4.2% in the last year. With an overall average of a 1.6% pay rise for all New Zealand workers, that means non-union workers got 1% – that’s less than inflation.
So if union members aren’t falling behind Australia in their wages like their non-union colleagues, why aren’t National encouraging all workers to join unions? Instead they’ve introduced a bill to make it much harder to unionise workplaces – making it difficult for union delegates to enter workplaces and allowing employers to try and break the collective negotiating an agreement. A bill that takes away workers’ rights; so it’s harder for them to negotiate the raises that are necessary to closing the wage gap that John Key called the ‘fundamental purpose of his government’.
I said last week that I’d have a post saying how to tell the government what you think of their attack on workers’ rights. This is it:
The Bill, and its counterpart attacking the 4 weeks’ holiday that Australia had for 30 years before us, are now before select committee. You can write to the select committee directly; or the unions are organising to an easy way to submit – and they’ll take all their submissions together to the committee in one big hit. They encourage you to ask to expand your complaints in person if possible – it’s more effective if the National MPs have to sit there and listen to what you have to say. The more people that submit the better. This isn’t a strong willed government – it can be pushed about by ACT, or by people power – best we make sure they get pushed the right correct way.
Interesting read: The Herald on what a union can do for you and how numbers are finally rising. Yes: Granny Herald – I know.