Make Work Fair Now is a campaign, backed by the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions – Te Kauae Kaimahi and the unions and working people who are its members, to achieve the best possible new law for Fair Pay Agreements and then help as many working people as possible make the most of FPAs to improve their working lives.
Today, many working people are finding it hard to get access to basic workplace rights and decent wages above the legal minimums – let alone get ahead. Even working people in union are finding their ability to win better terms and conditions is being weakened. The number of people who don’t feel they can be part of unions, increased levels of insecurity from casual work, contracting out, longer hours and loss of overtime, and the feeling that successful businesses no longer lead to better jobs, mean there is a constant downward pressure on work.
Fair Pay Agreements are a chance to re-set the standards for work, ensure no one occupation or sector is being left behind, and provide a little more dignity to all working people.
Already the COVID pandemic has shone a light on the working conditions of supermarket workers, cleaners and carers. As we have come to recognise how essential these workers are, we have also come to see their working conditions are often the opposite of that importance. In other sectors like security, bus driving and forestry, contracting out and competitive tendering have seen thousands of working people pushed to the limit in terms of their physical health and safety and their emotional wellbeing. Then, across whole sectors of work, there is simply no coordination of employers and the chance is being lost to train people, build skills and adapt constructively to our changing world.
As a country we can do better. Done well, Fair Pay Agreements will make work better, safer and more rewarding for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders. Now we have a tool to set the balance right and make work fairer for everyone.