Fair wage agreements are supported by the PPTA and other unions because they are a way to improve our system of employment rights and protection in sectors and sectors where collective agreements have not been successful. On Thursday, Labour Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway released consultation papers, including one calling for public contributions to the design of Fair Payment Agreements (FPAs), a “system for protecting workers in vulnerable sectors.” The trade union movement sees the agreements as an essential promise to tackle what it calls a “race to the bottom” in certain sectors where employers compete for business by cutting wages. One of Labour`s key promises to trade unions is about to be uncertain after the government introduced a controversial plan of sector-wide restraint agreements for a new round of consultations. Thursday`s publication does not contain a legislative timetable. Lees-Galloway`s statement stated that the consultation was seeking feedback “on the characteristics of policy development” of the agreements. “We will find the most unsatisfactory if they do not keep what was a fairly important promise and commitment,” Said Council of Trade Unions President Richard Wagstaff earlier this week, calling on the government to “continue” and introduce laws allowing agreements. Ratification: We are considering options for the entry into force of a VPA through ratification (i.e. it would need more than 50% support from workers and employers). We want a fair and responsible process, which is why we have asked for feedback on this threshold and procedure. Labour wants fair wages, but it may have overtaken the 2020 election, Stuff, 17.10.2019 OPINION: After the government finally took another step towards fair pay agreements by opening a six-week consultation, it is time to remember what is at stake in this legislation. Fair Pay Agreements “kicked for touch” with a new consultation cycle, NZ Herald, 17.10.2019 Review information from the consultation will inform the government`s decisions of a detailed fair-pay agreement system. Collective agreements continue where they already exist or where workers can be organized to negotiate new ones.
As noted at the time, the report was only the first step towards FPA legislation and the government indicated that further analysis and consultation would be required prior to the introduction of APV legislation. The discussion paper and the request for feedback are the next step in this process, but it is fair to say that there is still a long way to go before a bill takes shape. In the 2017 election, Labour promised a kind of mandatory sectoral agreements that set minimum standards beyond existing minimum legal standards. “Many new Zealanders who work are not getting their fair share. Over the past few decades, we have seen an increasing level of inequality and poverty. During this period, vulnerable workers had less access to collective bargaining and wages did not keep pace with productivity gains. Fair wage agreements are aimed at industries and workers who have not been able to influence their business conditions through collective bargaining. Fair wage agreements apply to all workers and employers in a given sector, for example to all agricultural workers and their employers.