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Secondary teachers urge government to keep Fair Pay Agreements – PPTA

If the government really cared about people who were struggling or squeezed financially in Aotearoa New Zealand, it would keep the Fair Pay Agreement policy, says Chris Abercrombie, PPTA Te Wehengarua president.

Secondary teachers support today’s protest against the government’s plans to repeal Fair Pay Agreement legislation.

Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) bring employer associations and unions together to bargain for minimum employment terms for all covered employees in an industry or occupation,

particularly the lowest paid such as cleaners, bus drivers, hospitality workers and security staff.

“Scrapping fair pay laws will is all about putting more money in employers’ pockets and rewarding business for their vote. It will take Aotearoa New Zealand back to a low wage economy and put us back in the race to the bottom.

“Those who benefit the most from Fair Pay Agreements are people who work in jobs with inadequate working conditions, low wages, and low labour productivity.

For example, Māori, Pacific peoples, young people, and people with disabilities are over-represented in jobs where low pay, job security, health and safety, and upskilling are significant issues.

Barriers to good labour market outcomes are particularly prevalent for people who fall within more than one of those groups. Fair Pay Agreements help address these issues.

“Doing away with fair pay shows very clearly where this government sits – and it is definitely not with people who are most in need of decent pay and working conditions.

The fact that repealing fair pay legislation is one of the first items on this government’s agenda speaks volumes about who it represents – and it is not those who are struggling or financially squeezed in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“We urge the Government to think again – and think of the thousands of New Zealanders in the lowest pay jobs seriously struggling to make ends meet – before it scraps fair pay and takes us back years.”

 

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