Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Wages on the rise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Whitianga. Nz. Pop; 4004

    Default Wages on the rise

    Big pay rises: are you next?


    By Amanda Cameron

    An aggressive campaign by some of the country's biggest unions to crank up pay rates is being hailed a success, with several large deals being struck in recent weeks for rises of at least 5 per cent.

    Tens of thousands of New Zealanders have won pay increases of at least 4 per cent since the Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) launched its "Fair Share" campaign in February, accusing employers of being "tight and greedy".

    At the time, employer groups were scathing about the campaign, saying it was unfair and unrealistic.

    So far, the EPMU has negotiated pay increases of at least 5 per cent for about 20,000 workers at more than 170 businesses.

    However, the increase for some workers is over 15 months - making it effectively a 4 per cent increase, according to employers.

    Other large pay deals struck in recent weeks include:

    About 2000 workers and contractors at the New Zealand Steel mill at Glenbrook have accepted a 5 per cent pay rise this year, with 3.5 per cent for each of the following two years.

    The National Distribution Union has recommended about 3850 staff at Foodtown, Countdown and Woolworths supermarkets accept an average pay rise of 5.2 per cent.

    The Service and Food Workers Union has negotiated average pay rises of roughly 5 per cent for 1000 members working for 11 employers, including Tegel South Island and Nobilo Wines.

    Workers at the Ports of Napier and Lyttelton Port have won pay rises of 6.25 per cent and 5 per cent respectively, after negotiations by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

    About 900 Auckland drivers for bus company Stagecoach will stop work this afternoon to vote on a pay deal touted as a 14.7 per cent rise, but which also contains overtime clawbacks. The vote follows a bitter battle over pay, which prompted a six-day strike last month.About 3700 ANZ National Bank workers will also vote this week on a 5 per cent pay offer. The offer, already accepted by around 3000 non-union staff, follows a month of rolling strikes.

    Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont said she knew of at least three other unions that had negotiated 5 per cent pay rises since the "Fair Share" campaign began.

    Talks will resume this week on pay rates for academic, administrative and support staff at seven universities. The staff have already been offered increases of between 2 per cent and 4.5 per cent and have withdrawn their threat to withhold student grades.

    EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said he had been told by other unions and employers that the campaign had generally lifted pay settlements by 1 to 1.5 per cent.

    "We said from the outset that this is a campaign really about lifting wages generally in New Zealand," he said. "Our wages are low by comparison, particularly with Australia, and it is time for us to start lifting wages."

    Economists will be keeping a close eye on official statistics, for fear the recent deals push up inflation.

    Latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand show that in the year to the end of March, overall pay rates for all salary and wage earners, including overtime, were up by just 2.5 per cent.

    Increases ranged from 1.7 per cent for legislators, managers and administrators to 4.6 per cent for those in the building trade.

    The biggest winners were carpenters and joiners - who achieved their biggest pay rise for more thana decade.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts