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E tū organising

New scope for pay rises with journalists’ collective at NZME

This year members at media company NZME, which owns NZ Herald, will be getting a pay bump close to inflation with the added potential for individual pay reviews undertaken in “good faith” by the company.

All members will receive 5%, with the opportunity for further pay rises by requesting an individual performance review. Pay brackets for NZME journalists have also been increased by $4000 each.

Delegate Tom Dillane says the negotiations with the company were constructive, and it promised to enter into personal pay reviews in good faith.

“Members seem pretty happy with the 5% collective increase. We’re also trying our best to get as many people to take up individual pay reviews on top of the collective increase and we’ve had a decent uptake already.”

Tom says the increase in the pay bands is also progress for journalists looking to join the company.

“For a junior role, the company won’t be able to pay them under 50 grand which is at least a move in the right direction. No one should be on an income under 50 grand.”

Solid increases for NZ Post members in new Redbook

It’s not often that you get more than 30 delegates around a table, but with more than 1000 members at NZ Post, big bargaining is the norm.

And bargain big they did. Members in the first three pay grades will see their pay boosted by around $120 extra a week, with increases ranging between 11% up to almost 16% in the first year of the agreement. Members already in higher pay grades received between 7% and 8% in the first year. Then for the next two years, members receive 3% plus 3%.

Long-time delegate Missy Moreau says pay was the claim at the top of the list for the collective agreement, known as the ‘Redbook’.

“I think in the kind of climate that we’re in now, this was a really good one for our people and the membership,” she says.

“With the cost of everything, we need more money.”

Even with a solid collective agreement in place, there’s still more work to do. Another long-time delegate Terry Howells says members would have preferred a shorter term of two years, and higher pay rises for those in higher pay grades.

“The posties and processing staff are very happy with what they got, but a lot of the higher pay grades who have been with the company for years feel they aren’t getting rewarded for it. We fought hard to get bigger rises for the higher grades too, but unfortunately weren’t able to reach an agreement with NZ Post as it wasn’t willing to spend more on wages.”

Care and support members file new claim against employers to raise pay rates for all workers

Around the country, members working in care and support have been marching in the streets, calling local MPs, and signing petitions, to call on the Government to raise their pay by more than 3% in the renewed legislation that sets down their pay and conditions.

In May, members from E tū, the PSA, and NZNO rallied in main centres and regional towns in bursts of colour and energy.

They also delivered a petition to Parliament with more than 10,000 signatures, collected in just 10 days.

However, the Government refused to move on their 3% pay offer.

Unions have now taken the first step towards wage justice for care and support workers by filing a pay equity claim on 1 July – the first day it was possible to do so.

The process is expected to take around 18 months.

Convenor of E tū’s Community Support Services Industry Council, Marianne Bishop, says many members are upset about the Government’s pay rise, which is also set down for the same 18-month period.

“Given that people worked through the pandemic in difficult circumstances – it’s a bit of a kick in the guts only offering us 3% when inflation is now over 7%.

Auckland members from E tū, PSA, and NZNO rally in Kingsland

“We have to keep helping and talking to each other, and keep building our membership and strength, so new members will be part of the success of the improved settlement too.”

Delegate and home care support worker Patricia Wilshier, inspired to join the sector after a long recovery from her own injury, says she’s encouraged her employer is very supportive of the pay equity claim and “one-hundred percent for us to get a pay rise”.

“We struggle with staff shortages, and yet it’s the most rewarding and amazing career anyone could have,” she says.

“We need workers to know, “You are valuable – people are depending on you. You need to get paid what you’re worth!”

Members at big Northland home support provider win first collective agreement

A new collective agreement is a great start for home support workers at a large Northland provider to win better working conditions.

Home Support North bargaining team members (from left) Sabrina Munro and Hemoata Foley

The one-year agreement has important changes to workers’ guaranteed hours to make it fairer and easier for them to pick up the hours of work they need.

Members also receive a one-off $250 payment, a pay incentive at the top qualification level, and can access free counselling for the first time.

E tū member Hemoata Foley – one of the bargaining team of two – says members are pleased, despite industry-wide problems with low pay and having to use their own cars for the job.

“One lady who has been working at Home Support North for 13 years said that workers had never had anything like this before, and they’re happy that they won these improvements.”

Take-off for aviation membership after the pandemic

Member Seema Suri (centre) rejoined
E tū as soon as she came back on board as cabin crew

As travel opens up, aviation workers are rebuilding their union power.

Air New Zealand’s contact centre has seen around 50 new members join E tū in just one month, as more new workers have been hired to cope with the huge demand for customer service.

Delegate Scott Marks says the team has been crying out for new workers for months, as call volumes stretched into the hundreds and wait times into hours.

And with union bargaining starting in August, it’s the perfect time to let workers know about E tū.

“When management announced it would be hiring new staff, we organised fairly quickly – mapping out the call centre to work out where our existing members were and tailoring a message to go out to every single non-union member,” he says.

“At their induction, we also go along and talk to staff about the benefits of union membership.”

The results have been promising, with union density at around 70% and membership numbers up by around a third. E tū’s long-term goal is for all aviation workplaces to be 100% union.

“Every single member who joins just makes us stronger and gives us better outcomes when we go into bargaining,” Scott says.

Cabin crew have also been rejoining E tū as they return to flying after losing their jobs in the pandemic, like former Virgin cabin crew Seema Suri.

Now starting back on the 787s at Air New Zealand, Seema says she “couldn’t be happier” to be back.

One of her first priorities? “I wouldn’t have started flying again without joining the union.”

Impressive strike action puts most members at transformer manufacturer ahead of Living Wage

ETEL members’ one-day strike turned their pay offer around

Members at an Auckland transformer manufacturing plant celebrated when most members won a pay rise that puts their hourly rate above the Living Wage.

Around 100 members from ETEL went on strike on a wintry morning in June, showing plenty of determination and energy on the picket line.

Their hard work means the majority of members, who are also the lowest paid, will move to $24 per hour by December, with a pay bump to $22.80 per hour in the meantime.

Overall, all members will receive at least 8% by the end of the year, with a further 2% in mid-2023, if the price of goods and services gets up to 10%.

The ETEL delegate team says the situation in the end was “win-win”.

“Everyone worked really hard to get where they are. We had a good negotiating team and fought hard.”

Most members were happy with the outcome, says the team: “They got together as a big family and did what they had to do.”

Eggstraordinary results after poultry workers organise for decent pay

Members from Zeagold and Mainland Feed had their first-ever strike for two days in June and July

This year, members from an egg production factory and feed producer decided to take a stand for better pay.

In June, members at ZeaGold and Mainland Feed, both owned by Mainland Poultry, voted to strike, with some donning chicken costumes and heading for the picket line.

After two strike days, the end result was eggstraordinary: a 10% increase after years of just ones and twos, with no pass-on. New workers will start on no less than the Living Wage for 2021-22 of $22.75.

For around 90 members in Auckland and the South Island covered by the one-year collective agreement, it’s a welcome change.

Delegate Hans Van Der Laan, who works at Zeagold’s main egg farm in Waikouaiti near Dunedin, says historically workers had taken whatever the company was offering without complaint.

But when he got around the bargaining table and was presented with the same sort of wage offer, he thought, “this year is the year we stand up and do something”.

“This is the biggest increase I can recall in more than 10 years,” Hans says.

Auckland delegate David Pearce says while taking industrial action was a “last resort”, members are “very, very pleased” at the changes.

“There have been challenges on both sides – for the company and for us. But we’ve achieved some great outcomes in terms of better rates of pay and working conditions.”

David says he hopes the new collective will mean members feel they’re on a more “equal footing” with the company the next time around.

Member power generates big win at timber company

South Pine members came together as a team to win better pay

E tū and FIRST Union members from a large South Island timber mill are stoked with their recent win after a snap strike, calling for pay that was on par with other timber companies in the area.

After one and a half days of hard yards on the picket line, South Pine members in Nelson secured a pay rise of 7.2% to match inflation. Other wins were a start rate of $23.30 – bringing it closer to the 2022/23 Living Wage rate of $23.65, and a flat rate of $34 per hour for trades workers with most previously on $28–$32 per hour.

Long-time delegate Dave Barton says the decision to strike was entirely “member generated”.

“The members made this happen, and I’m really proud of what they achieved. Aside from pay increases, the biggest outcome of the strike is the solidarity we had with our union members who all pulled together as a really cohesive team.”

The agreement, which is for one year, will also include several months’ backpay, including overtime.

Another delegate Kurt Collier, who works as a tradie, says members are “rapt”.

“The lower-paid guys are ecstatic. It’s life changing and is more than a loaf of bread a week for some people.”

Morale at work has completely changed, he says. “It’s like another workplace.”

Leading through service

Elected in July, Gadiel Asiata is E tū’s new Co-President. A member of the E tū National Executive and Northern Region Convenor for Komiti Pasefika with many years of leadership experience in unions, Gadiel is also running for the Manurewa Local Board in the local body elections this October.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I’m the youngest of nine. My mum and dad moved to New Zealand from Samoa in the 1960s due to the labour shortage back in the day, to start a family here and give us the best opportunities that we could have. They also sent money back home. Outside of my community and union work, I do a night shift as a technical specialist at Griffins, training staff and overseeing that on the factory floor.

How did you come to be involved in unions?

Being the youngest, I was the last of my siblings living at home with my parents, so when I finished high school I didn’t have the opportunity to further my studies because we had a mortgage to pay. My first job when I was 18 was at a cheese factory (now owned by Fonterra) on the assembly line. It didn’t sit right with me the way management treated and spoke to our people. One day I stood up to management and was called into a disciplinary. I remembered my parents saying to get hold of the union. I didn’t even know what a union was. But I managed to save myself and my job. After the meeting, the organiser asked me if I wanted to be a delegate. I asked, “What does that mean?” He told me it was a chance to stand up for people. “Sign me up!” I said. That was how I became a delegate for the Dairy Workers Union. At 18, after going to my FIRST Union conference, I also became the convenor of their Rūnanga. I held both positions until I was made redundant from Fonterra in 2007.

What does a typical day look like for you right now?

I do a 12am–8am shift at Griffins to pay the wages. Then I’m out and about door knocking and meeting up with people in the community for at least four hours in the morning. I’m also making sure the community is ok as many lost their jobs during
Covid-19, so I’m involved with a Pacific Vibes Market where local people can bring food, baking, and arts and crafts to sell. I take two choir groups at my church, where I’m a music director. It’s really fulfilling – teaching and hearing what I’ve put together come out. My ministry – the way I give back to God – is through music.

You’re the first E tū Co-President of Pasefika descent. What does it mean to you to be elected to this position?

I would like to give back to the union what they’ve given me over the years, bringing my own Pasefika flair to it as well, and show the diversity of E tū. I want to lead from the heart and to privilege the voices of all workers. Being born in New Zealand but with Samoan heritage, I feel comfortable in traversing the different cultures in our union.

What motivates you to lead in your community?

I’ve always been taught to lead a life of service, and I stand on my parents’ shoulders and those of many other people. Leadership for us is leading through service. Whatever contribution I have to give, it’s for the greater good of people and to watch our communities flourish.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I play a couple of instruments, so I like to spend time on my piano. I also love spending quality time with my mum and those who are close to me – even if it’s just getting a coffee. Every moment is precious.

What’s one thing E tū members may be surprised to learn about you?

I’m actually a fraternal twin. He’s totally the opposite to me – tall and a rugby league player! But I’m the matai in our family.

Porirua City Council to become Living Wage accredited

After 10 years of campaigning, community leaders in Porirua are excited that workers employed by contractors will be paid at least the Living Wage when contracts are renewed, as the council takes the step of becoming an accredited Living Wage Employer.

Porirua will join other accredited councils including their neighbours, Wellington City Council and Hutt City Council.

Porirua City Council cleaner, Salota Sami, is “100% happy” to be getting the Living Wage.

“This means I can put money towards my dream of taking my children back to the Islands one day. It also helps with paying for my medication and looking after my health.”

As we approach the local elections in October, local Living Wage networks across Aotearoa are gearing up to make sure candidates are making strong Living Wage commitments. Porirua City Council joining the growing list of accredited councils demonstrates the real momentum our council campaigns are having across the country!

Living Wage rate goes up to $23.65 on 1 September

The Living Wage moves up every year, with the new rate announced on 1 April and coming into effect on 1 September. This means that everyone both directly and indirectly employed by accredited Living Wage Employers will be getting at least $23.65 per hour from September.

Most years, the Living Wage moves up based on a calculation of the increase in the average annual earnings, which is one way of measuring inflation. Every five years, the rate is completely recalculated to make sure that it stays relevant and based on the latest factors, including day to day costs and changes to government support. This will happen in 2023, when a fully reviewed rate will be announced in April.

Workers at the centre of industry transformation

It’s not every day that fisheries worker Lavina Rickard gets to sit down with chief executives and talk about putting workers first in a changing industry.

A supervisor at Sanford’s fish factory in Havelock, Lavina has been working hard over the past two years to make sure workers have a voice in a new industry plan for the manufacturing sector.

It’s a tripartite plan that was created by Government, business and unions, with Māori input from all three streams, to create a positive future for the sector.

Known as the Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) for Advanced Manufacturing, it was launched on 1 June. Some of the main priorities of the ITP are to invest in new technologies to lift productivity and wages, to ensure all workers have a plan to develop their skills, and to reduce the sector’s carbon emissions to zero.

A leader of the skills working group for the plan, as well as a member of the main steering group, Lavina says she has really emphasised the need for workers to upskill.

“Many workers are afraid of losing their jobs when new technology arrives, but that doesn’t have to be the case,” she says.

“Skilled workers can become technicians and companies will need to pay them more.

“The discussions with our working group have been constructive. I’ve said to them that with the training and upskilling, you also need to look at the management side of the business as well. You’ve got to create a culture that’s about retaining and attracting workers. Culture is very important,” she says.

Rachel Mackintosh, Vice-President of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and an E tū Assistant National Secretary, is a co-chair of the plan’s steering group.

NZCTU Vice-President Rachel Mackintosh (left) at the launch event

“The plan aims to transform the industry. Putting people and wellbeing at the centre of the plan gives us hope for a better life for union members working in the industry, and also for their whānau and communities,” she says.

“All workers in the industry can be engaged as the plan is rolled out. With the foundation that Lavina’s and others’ work has laid, workers can have a voice in their futures and make manufacturing a great place to work, with good skills and decent pay.

“As our member Edwin Ikani says, it’s about unleashing the creative potential of the workers. Then we all benefit.”

Social procurement for a Just Transition in Southland

Union members and our community allies in Southland have explored the concept of social procurement, and what it means for a Just Transition, in a recent symposium.

The Social Procurement Symposium was co-hosted by E tū and Murihiku Regeneration to build a consensus in the Southland community about the use of private and public procurement.

At the heart of social procurement is the simple idea that when making decisions to buy goods and services, governments and organisations need to look beyond just the immediate cost and consider the wider impact that their procurement has on society.

Good social procurement means workers getting decent work, such as a minimum of a Living Wage and secure employment, which has flow-on effects in local economies. It means keeping environmental and economic sustainability front and centre. It also means proper engagement with affected communities to ensure their needs are being met.

People at the symposium heard from experts, Tania Pouwhare from Auckland Council’s The Southern Initiative, and Craig Renney, from the Council of Trade Unions.

Karena Kelland, a member of E tū’s Public and Commercial Services Industry Council, got a lot out of the symposium.

“I found the event very good. I just think that social procurement is exactly what we need, on our society as a whole. I truly believe that it will deliver Decent Work to those who have been excluded before”, Karena says.

“Personally, I try to shop locally, and I want to be able to shop Living Wage as well.”

“Tania made a good point that Māori and Pasefika have basically been left behind. If you have a conscience, then you need to give workers more than the bare minimum. People should be paid what they’re worth.”

Karena says that lifting wages is a fundamental part of social procurement, because it benefits everyone in the area, and that her city council and local businesses should step up.

“We need to pay the Living Wage across the community. I think the Invercargill City Council needs to become an accredited council. A comment was made in a work group that we could identify firms that already pay the Living Wage, and make them local champions for the Living Wage Movement.

“Personally, I try to shop locally, and I want to be able to shop Living Wage as well.”

1,100 submissions for Fair Pay Agreements

E tū members and supporters have knocked it out of the park! When submissions closed in May, more than 1,100 people had used E tū’s online submission tool to let Parliament know why Fair Pay Agreements will be so important to us.

E tū members and supporters made the majority of submissions on this bill, as the total number of submissions received by Parliament was 1,852. Many of the other submissions came from our allies in community organisations and other unions supporting the bill.

There were common themes throughout many of the submissions. Workers want better pay, proper training, decent health and safety, better workplace cultures, and a real say in workplace decision making.

Submissions also included reports that many members are going through real hardship. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the impacts of inequality, and with the price of essentials like housing and groceries growing rapidly, good Fair Pay Agreements legislation is urgent.

Delegations of E tū members in both Auckland and Wellington appeared before the Select Committee to make oral submissions, telling their stories directly to the Members of Parliament. Rosey Ngakopu, a Wellington security guard and dedicated E tū activist,
said it was about a fair go for all.

“Everyone deserves fairness, equality, dignity, and wellbeing at work,” Rosey said.

“Workers in Aotearoa New Zealand need better pay, better conditions, better protections, and better involvement in decision making.”

Rosey said that while it was great to see the bill before Parliament, E tū was advocating for some improvements. A big one for Rosey was the inclusion of health and safety as an issue that was mandatory to agree on, not just to discuss.

What happens next?

We expect The Fair Pay Agreements Bill to have its Third Reading in Parliament in October. Shortly after that, the bill becomes law, and we can begin to initiate the first Fair Pay Agreements!

Initiation will require 1,000 workers or 10% of a workforce (whichever number is smaller) to sign on, calling for a Fair Pay Agreement.

Bargaining parties will be formed, with both employers and workers (through their unions) democratically selecting people to represent them.

Once negotiations have finished, all workers and employers affected by the Fair Pay Agreement will have the chance to vote on it. If no agreement can be reached, then the Fair Pay Agreement goes to a neutral arbitrator at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), to make a final decision.

Anyone employed in the industry covered by the Fair Pay Agreement will have pay and conditions that are at least as good as the new minimum standards laid out in the Fair Pay Agreement – a brilliant new legal right!

Local elections: your voice matters!

Efeso Collins addresses the E tū Biennial Conference

Leaflets are being delivered and billboards are popping up across the country as we get close to the 2022 local elections. This is your chance to vote for mayors, councillors, and other officials who will make important decisions on behalf of your local community.

Councils have a huge responsibility for the things that affect our everyday lives. From day-to-day decisions like rubbish collection and setting rates, to long term challenges like housing, transport infrastructure, civil defence preparedness, and climate change mitigation, the people who we elect this year will have big jobs to do.

E tū is always involved in local elections. As well as having a vested interest in making sure local politics serves E tū members, we also recognise the powers councils have as employers. For both directly employed workers and those employed by contractors, councils are some of the biggest employers in the country. That is why we have fought with our community allies to have paying the Living Wage at the top of council agendas every election.

Auckland needs Efeso

Auckland councillor and E tū member Efeso Collins has thrown his hat in the ring for one of Aotearoa’s most important jobs: Mayor of Auckland. An Auckland councillor since 2016, Efeso has stood firm as a champion for developing strong communities. He is particularly focused on housing, transport, urban development, and climate change mitigation.

Efeso knows the importance of workers and our unions getting involved in local elections.

“Unions represent a collective of people who can often feel left out of the decisions,” Efeso says.

“It’s very important to give a voice to the concerns that affect working people the most. Councils can have a huge role in improving things for workers, from paying the Living Wage to everyone they are responsible for, to making sure that housing is both decent and affordable.

“I don’t just ask ‘what is the future of the city’, I ask ‘who is the future of the city’. There’s no question that we need a people-oriented approach if we are going to keep designing a future for our cities that we can be proud of.”

One particularly exciting policy that Efeso is taking to the election is a commitment to fare-free public transport. Efeso describes this as a “quadruple win”.

“Fares-free public transport will alleviate some of the burdens of the cost of living, it will reduce congestion on the roads, it will help local economic development by connecting up our suburbs, and of course it will help us tackle climate change.”

E tū has officially endorsed Efeso Collins for Mayor of Auckland. Vote for Efeso Collins – and get your friends and whānau to do the same!

Decent Work: E tū, e puta, karawhiua!

E tū Biennial Conference 2022

Delegates and representatives from across the country and all E tū industries gathered in Auckland in July for two days of action, learning, and solidarity at our Biennial Conference 2022. The conference theme was Decent Work – E tū, e puta, e karawhiua, which translates as ‘get up, get out there, get active’. The programme was jam-packed with speakers and sessions exploring the many facets of Decent Work.

As the highest decision-making body in E tū, the conference debated remits to keep our union strong and accountable, including officially enshrining Decent Work as a core union objective. A range of local and international guests shared stories from across the trade union movement. Carl Leinonen, a union campaign coordinator in the global arm of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said he was “ecstatic” to be joining us in person, because our campaigns for Decent Work and Fair Pay Agreements in particular are world-leading.

National Secretary Bill Newson and our Co-Presidents Muriel Tunoho and Gadiel Asiata

Youth Network Convenor Dan Harward Jones

E tū cleaner and Komiti Pasefika activist, Malia Motusaga, had a great time at the Conference. “I really liked the first day, which was all about celebration. We welcomed our new Co-President, and I liked hearing from all the brothers and sisters across our different industries,” Malia says. “It was especially good to hear all the support for Fair Pay Agreements. I thought Auckland Mayoral candidate Efeso Collins was great. He was really encouraging to all the members for what we are doing, and for our hard work. He’s all about the people.”

Malia won the prestigious E tū Activist of the Year award, for her ongoing support of her fellow members and relentless commitment to our union’s campaigns. She says the award was a big surprise. “I was shocked, I wasn’t expecting that. To be honest, the work I do is for my love for all the hardworking cleaners and security guards out there. I appreciate the award, and I just want to thank members for their hard work – keep doing what you’re doing.” It was the first E tū conference for our new Youth Network Convenor, Dan Harward Jones, who particularly enjoyed the opportunity to chat with his fellow delegates.

“My favourite part was meeting members and activists from our wide range of industries,” Dan says. “It’s refreshing to hear about diverse challenges and reassuring to learn how much we have in common. “I learned heaps about solidarity from outside our union. There’s a world of organising and activism in Aotearoa and even overseas that actually links with E tū’s kaupapa, which was amazing to see.”

As the new Youth Network Convenor, Dan says it’s important to encourage young people to get involved with union activities.

“We’re not just the future of the union movement – we’re here right now! Our generation are some of the most vulnerable to exploitation, but also some of the most socially aware. That energy and hope will make real change for our union and workers everywhere.”

Iunisi Faingaanuku tells the conference about her involvement in the Fair Pay Agreements campaign

New Life Member, Bruce Habgood

Carl Leinonen, SEIU

The conference delegates!

Editorial: Standing up for Decent Work

Welcome to this latest edition of our union magazine. I hope you had the opportunity to observe our first Matariki paid public holiday in a special way on 24 June. The appearance of the Matariki cluster of stars in our night sky marks the start of the traditional Māori new year and it provides a unique time to reflect and look ahead.

Just like working people globally, E tū members have been experiencing the tough impact of increased inflation on already stretched family and personal living costs.

Notwithstanding the Covid-19-related disruption across some industries, the importance of a Living Wage as a minimum rate and wage increases that protect our incomes against inflation are more important now than they have ever been.

I acknowledge E tū members across various companies and industries who are standing up together for a fairer deal, including members at ETEL and Assa Abloy in Auckland who have taken strike action to improve their collective agreement outcomes.

It is in the tough times that we see the need for a safety platform of improved minimum employment conditions more clearly. E tū is leading a campaign to support Fair Pay Agreement (FPAs) legislation and stop the “race to the bottom” on workers’ wages. My
thanks to all members who supported us by writing submissions and appearing at the select committee.

We can judge how effective FPAs will be for working people by the well-funded campaign by employer interest groups to undermine them. A notorious example was the “fake news” by Business NZ claiming that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) had condemned FPAs, when in fact the ILO did no such thing.

E tū also has its sights on the issue of exploitative “dependent contracting” employment models that push all of the risk onto the shoulders of those who can least afford it, with little reward.

E tū and FIRST Union are working together on a legal challenge to the Uber driver contract model. The court case has just wrapped up, and we expect the result in the next few weeks.

We have also participated in a tripartite working group reviewing regulatory protection for those who miss out on basic employment rights and protections because they are deemed to be “contractors” when they are not, and we will be focused on achieving policy improvements with the Government.

In the last edition of this magazine, I reported that we were advocating for continued apprentice training support, and it was great to see our Government extend the Apprentice Boost programme in the recent budget. The strength of our union is reflected in the depth of our democracy and E tū has very deep union democracy. I acknowledge and thank our workplace delegates who attended our 2022  Delegate Forums, and attended the E tū Biennial Conference on 20 and 21 July, the highest policy making body in our union.

Conference brings together elected E tū representatives, who provide the voice of membership from across the industries, regions and diversity of our great union, to review the work of the union over the past two years and to look to the future.

Decent Work was the theme of this year’s E tū Conference. As industry rebuilds from Covid-19, productivity demands will compound the already escalating pace of workplace change driven by technological transformation and future decarbonisation of jobs. This conference was a defining event in staking our claim on what Decent Work should look like in that future of work.

At the conference, we also confirmed our new Co-President, Gadiel Asiata, who features in the member profile of this magazine. I also want to acknowledge our former Co-President Don Pryde, who served EPMU and E tū members for a long time. We thank Don for his huge commitment to our union and working people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

In closing, I acknowledge NZ Steel Health and Safety Representative Lester Udy who was a top nominee for Health and Safety Representative of the Year at the recent SafeGuard Health and Safety Awards.

Covid-19 will continue to impact on health and well-being during the winter period and we need to remain cautious and practise the generally accepted health measures, including vaccination and wearing a mask where there is a risk.

Please take the time to read our magazine and, on behalf of our National Executive, thank you for being an E tū member.

 

E tū National Executive