VICTORY FOR HOME SUPPORT MEMBERS

SFWU members working in home support have won a huge victory after years of campaigning.  The former Minister of Health Tony Ryall, along with providers, has signed a $38 million agreement with SFWU and the PSA providing for home support workers' travel time to be paid at least the minimum wage from 1 July 2015.

The agreement also includes an increase in the mileage allowance to a minimum of 50 cents an hour from 1 March 2016 and an annual review of these rates. Most importantly, it provides for an expert advisory group to work on how to implement guaranteed, secure hours of work for our home support members within 24 months of the agreement being signed.

Takaka home support worker and SFWU member, Patricia Martin, said the announcement was a victory for union members. 

The plan will now go out to our members for ratification. 

 

         

 

Fishing inquiry must stand up for local jobs
Posted On: Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Service and Food Workers Union Ngā Ringa Tota sounded a warning today for the Inquiry into Foreign Charter Vessels, due to report back on Friday. The SFWU represents over 2,000 workers in the seafood industry.

"There are worrying signals that the Inquiry's recommendations will be limited solely to addressing the disgraceful exploitation of foreign workers within our exclusive economic zone," said SFWU spokesperson Neville Donaldson.

"While this exploitation is obviously totally unacceptable, it will be a tragic lost opportunity if the Inquiry fails to address the industry practices that have led to the loss of thousands of local jobs, skills, and career paths."

Neville Donaldson said the Inquiry had heard compelling evidence that fixing the industry required more than the enforcement of labour standards on foreign vessels.

"Thousands of jobs have been lost, along with skills and career paths," he said. "The Inquiry has a responsibility to make recommendations ensuring we restore jobs to New Zealand workers, particularly Māori, who have traditionally made up a large percentage of the workforce," he said. "This is absolutely critical with Māori unemployment in double digits and youth Maori unemployment off the scale.

"Alongside the obvious benefits of restoring jobs in our fishing industry, there are massive economic benefits in restoring local value-added processing, both on and off shore."

Neville Donaldson said that the Inquiry would fail if it did not result in recommendations for regulations requiring a fixed minimum percentage of quota to be value-added processed in New Zealand and a minimum percentage of New Zealand crew on any vessel fishing our economic zone.

"In 2011 our union presented a petition to MPs at Parliament, signed by 12,000 New Zealanders. The petition called for an inquiry into a range of issues in the fishing industry, including the devastating job cuts in the industry as a result of changes in the past decade," he said. "It will be a measure of whether the Inquiry has done its job that these issues are addressed."



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