What does an FPA mean for Adam?

Adam works at a fast-food joint in Christchurch. He's recently been promoted to a supervisor role and represents his store and well as his fellow workers. We talked with him about what he wants to see in a Fair Pay Agreement, and what he wants bosses to know.

What do FPAs means to you?

FPAs are an opportunity for me to be able to survive on the wage I’m on.

It’s a bit silly because I’m in a supervisor role and still struggling to make ends meet, so for anyone under my level it can only be impossible.

Can you tell us about a time when the conditions of an FPA would have made a work situation easier?

An FPA would have made a work situation easier for me a couple of months ago.

I was running one of my first shifts, a 9-hour period where I’m in charge of the store and I must run through the busy dinner rush. I was the only shift supervisor on floor.

At the time I was untrained, I did not have a first aid qualification, and had done none of the courses. So, I was running the shift with no first aid experience. If there was any sort of injury to any of my staff or customers, there would be no way I could have helped them efficiently. It’s a concern for me because I can’t guarantee the safety of the people I’m in charge of, and that means a lot to me.

An FPA starts the conversation on health and safety. It gives the employees a say on what they want to see changed.

One thing I want to change to make sure there are safety nets for situations like this.

So Fair Pay Agreements can really help with making sure there is adequate training before you step up. What else do you think FPAs need to cover in your industry?

I think wages have a degree in that too. If there were better wages more people would want to work. A lot of my workers call in sick which is why I was the only shift supervisor on the floor and I was untrained.

An FPA would mean higher wages, would mean that more people would want to be at work and I wouldn’t be left untrained looking after all of these staff and customers.

How does an FPA work?

An FPA starts the conversation between employees and employers and government officials around what change they [employees or employers] want to see. FPAs get rid of any confusion there may be and there’s better communication overall.

Employers are able to hear out their employees and they finally get the say instead of isolated situations where they’re screaming out and no one is listening.

What do you want business owners to know about Fair Pay Agreements?

FPAs can reward the employers for their great work.

If there was some notoriety for employers who treat their employees well, then that sets the standard and it really puts the places that are not treating their workers very well. It makes employers very attractive and they’ll notice there will no longer be labour shortages for places like that.

I need the decision makers and the bosses, at least in my case, to know that I want my job, I want my place of work to succeed as much as they do.

My interests might not be the same as my employers, but I want to see our business grow and we can only do that if we have the conversations we need to have.

Any final thoughts about the impact a Fair Pay Agreement will have on you?

My pay isn’t very high so it’s good to have a little safety net.

I can’t live week-to-week, it’s ridiculous.