6 June 2013:
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is disappointed that a Bill that will remove important pay and condition protections for working New Zealanders passed its first reading last night.
Nurse and NZNO delegate Grant Brookes says, “The changes proposed in this Bill are bad medicine for workers and the economy. We are concerned that although the changes are being touted by the Government as moderate “technical fixes”, what they will actually do is force wages and conditions down.”
“The rights of workers will be stripped away. Our most vulnerable workers will be worse off with the removal of protections in section 6A. New workers can expect less than the rate in the collective agreement for the first 30 days, employers can refuse to conclude collective pay negotiations and the ability of workers to use collective power to balance employer power in pay negotiations will be reduced.”
Erin Kennedy is another nurse and NZNO delegate who opposes the changes, “The changes will allow a few bad employers to drive down wages and conditions over the whole economy. Instead of this race to the bottom, what New Zealand needs is fair and equitable employment legislation. NZNO will be joining others to campaign against the changes and show that another way is possible.”
“Some will say that workers have nothing to fear but we disagree; this legislation is creating an unfair advantage for employers. When workers have to rely on the ‘kindness’ of employers, rather than on fair and solid law, we are all in trouble,” Kennedy says.
“What New Zealand needs is a strong, productive economy based on decent wages and working conditions. This Bill is bad medicine. ”