Why support a Universal Basic Income

19 Apr

My Mike Treen
National Director, Unite Union

(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)

The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular.

If Mana are in a position to do so, they should demand that the concept be explored in a commission on tax and welfare to be established by the incoming Labour/Green government. The Green Party is also a supporter in principle for the idea.
The mechanics of a UBI are actually quite simple.

We would abolish WINZ and the giant bureaucracy it administers.

We would eliminate working for families and most welfare benefits.

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8 Apr

Fast food companies cheat workers out of lieu days

28 Mar

By Mike Treen

National Director, Unite Union

Workers have been cheated out of their lieu day entitlements for working on a public holiday at several fast food companies.

By law, workers are meant to get one full day as a paid “alternative holiday” (also called a lieu day) if they work any period of time on a public holiday – if that day is usually a working day for them. So, if the public holiday is on a Monday and I usually work Mondays, I should get paid time and a half for all hours worked and get another full day’s paid leave.

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Part time Unite union organisers wanted in Auckland and Wellington

25 Mar

Unite Union is looking to employ two part time organisers. Both organisers will have a primary responsibility for visiting, recruiting and representing workers in the fast food industry, cinemas, hotels and security.

Organisers need to have some experience as a union delegate, an advocate for workers and beneficiaries or organising experience in community movements. A knowledge of current industrial law would be an advantage.

Applicants need to be computer literate. A current drivers licence is essential.

The Auckland position is for 20 hours a week. The Wellington position is for 10 hours a week.

Both positions are for a fixed term until September 30 when there will be a reorganisation of roles at Unite Union.

Applications should be sent by email to Unite National Director Mike Treen (mike) by 5pm, Monday, March 31.

Mike Treen

National Director
Unite Union
09 8452132 ext 20
029 5254744

Living Wage 4 Learning March

21 Mar

Saturday 29 March

Gather at Queen Elizabeth Square 11am

March up Queen Street 11.30am

Rally in Aotea Square 12-1pm

Every child deserves a chance in life, but more than one in four Kiwi kids live in poverty. That inequality is the biggest hurdle to educational success.

The Government is putting millions into highly paid "new roles" for some principals and teachers, but ignoring child poverty. It has rejected a living wage for low paid support staff such as teacher aides, who directly support students with the greatest needs.

If you agree that tackling inequality must be the #1 priority in New Zealand, and that there must be a Living Wage for Learning for kids and education workers, come and join us to show your support!

Download the event flyer to print and display

Call 0800 NZEI HELP (0800 693443) for more information.

Fast Food pay rates to change April 1

15 Mar

Message to all Unite workers fast food restaurants:

From April 1 all rates in companies where Unite has collective agreements will increase by at least 50 cents an hour.

These companies are McDonald’s, Burger King, Restaurant Brands & Wendy’s.

All collective agreements at these companies have a clause that all rates would increase by at least 50 cents or the percentage increase in the minimum wage.

The government has announced that the minimum wage will increase from $13.75 to $14.25 from April 1. This equals a 3.636% increase on the minimum rate. All rates above the minimum increase by a similar percentage.

From April 1 Restaurant Brands Rates are:
The different rates for Restaurant Brands (KFC, Pizzza Hut, Starbucks and Carl’s Jr) are in the attached PDF or can be seen here.

From April 1 McDonald’s Rates are as follows:
Minimum Crew rate: $14.25
Crew CCO $14.50
Crew CCO (12 months) $14.80
Crew Trainer $15.05
Maintenance Person $15.05
Shift Assistant $15.05
Shift Supervisor/McCafe TL $17.11
Cert Shift Supervisor $18.25

From April 1 Burger King Rates are as follows:
Team Member – $14.25
Team Member Level 3 – $14.51
Team Trainer – $14.82
Production Coordinator – $15.08

The Wendy’s rates are subject to the current negotiations. The crew rates will increase by at least 50 cents to:
Crew Start $14.25
6 months Automatic $14.50
12 months review $14.75
18 month Review $15.00
Shift Supervisor in training $15.25
Shift Supervisor (1 year) $16.00

Huntly McDonald’s – from sauna to cool oasis

15 Mar

A routine site visit to Huntly McDonalds on Wednesday 12 March turned into more of a sauna visit with the temperature in store exceeding 30 degrees in all areas from foyer through to kitchen. Staff were clearly not happy and were relieved to see me onsite even wanting to walkout.

According to the workers, this has been an ongoing issue as their air conditioning system is prone to breaking down and sending temperatures in the store above 30 degrees. On this occasion, the office temperature reading was 31 degrees so you could imagine what the cooking area was like.

After notifying the Restaurant Manager that this clearly was a risk to the health and safety of workers onsite and that workers were well within their rights to walk out, the air-conditioning system was immmediately fixed and will be continually monitored to ensure it remains that way.

Staff were elated that their work place air-conditioning system has been fixed and an oasis of calm has returned to their work site. Customers have also relayed how pleased they are at how cool the restaurant is and that I should do site checks more often.

By Angelyse-Heitiare Armstrong, Unite Organiser for South Auckland/Waikato


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