Archive | April, 2012

NZ Union news week ending 27/4

27 Apr


Helen Kelly: We need to share more fairly

500 more meat workers locked out on ANZAC day, Talley’s lockout settlement conference this Thursday
500 more meat workers locked out on ANZAC day, Talley’s lockout settlement conference this Thursday

THE UNION REPORT 23 April 2012: The Union Report: Guests are Helen Kelly and Garry Parsloe. Topics are Issue 1: What is driving the conflict at the Ports of Auckland, where is the middle ground and how many dirty tricks does PoAL need to play? Issue 2: AFFCO says they want the Union out of their industry, will these tactics enshrine a low wage economy and if our primary industries can’t provide decent wages, what industry can? Issue 3: This Saturday is International Worker’s memorial Day and 6 months since the death of Charanpreet Dhaliwal on a Fulton Hogan worksite. Is a de-unionized workforce a safe workforce?

$7500 compo for one day’s work in salon

Housing boss ‘manhandled’ staff

Lack of sacking a ‘double standard’

Seasonal exploitation by Kiwi capitalists

International support for 26 weeks paid parental leave

CTU: Many risks in MoBIE

Trial periods – one year on

Marx on the waterfront

Aotearoa is not for sale: 3pm Sat 28th April, Britomart

27 Apr

There is huge opposition to the government’s plans to privatise state assets. Electricity is already too expensive in this country- we remember when Folole Muliaga died after she was disconnected for getting behind on her bills. Mums and Dads can’t pay the bills on the poverty wages they earn, let alone buy back what they already own. Its not just American and Australian multinationals and the Chinese State we’re worried about- Our concern is that the government will sell off the family silver to their rich friends, the elite 1%, both domestic and international.

We want to mobilise thousands of people to march on the streets of Auckland to say Aotearoa is not for Sale. We will bring together the political Left with union and community campaigns, such as the GI Tenants resisiting eviction and the Wharfies fighting casualisation.
Our public assets, our schools, our jobs and our homes are all under attack. Its time to draw a line in the sand and defeat the government on the streets."

New Zealand is for sale. Come to the demonstration on Saturday April 28th to defend Aotearoa or join the Hikoi as it comes to your area. View One News story on the hikoi.

Endorsed by Labour, Greens, Mana, NZ First, Unions Auckland, the CTU Runanga Kaimahi Maori, Greenpeace, the Unite Union, the EPMU, MUNZ, Actors Equity, the First Union, New Zealand Nurses Organisation , the Service and Food Workers Union, the Post Primary Teachers’ Association, NZEI Auckland, the Manufacturing and Construction Workers Union, Grey Power, the Working Women’s Resource Centre, Auckland Action Against Poverty, Global Peace and Justice Auckland, Occupy Auckland, the Hikoi to stop Asset Sales and Socialist Aotearoa.

Aotearoa is not for sale march facebook event page.

The Auckland Waterfront Workers Dispute – video of Australian and other international solidarity

27 Apr

John Minto moves on, Surveillance in the workplace, fee rise for some

23 Apr



John has been a Unite organiser for over six years and in that time he has handled many of the more difficult negotiations, companies, and employment cases. The main areas of work he covered included security, English language schools, health, and call centres. And he was always there to support members in other areas covered by Unite and other working people.

Many of our members from outside of Auckland have also got to know John as he has coordinated our employment relations education training – putting together courses, doing schedules for training days, presenting courses and travelling to other cities to run training days. More recently John stood in the general elections for the MANA party and will continue to be active in Global Peace and Justice Auckland. So he will continue to be around our union in all sorts of social justice struggles.

He has many close members and two of them wrote the following comments:

John has been a wonderful rep and has been quite a force to reckon with throughout the time he has represented those of us at First Security in particular, over the last 4 years. While the environment is quite challenging and we have had some stand-off moments, John has still managed to forge a working relationship with management and has put us well on the road to enriching that relationship ever more. The respect and integrity and mana that he has, will always be imbedded in those that have had to deal with John. We will miss him and his expertise and hope that he lingers around long enough to impart some of that wealth of knowledge onto those that will follow in his footsteps. From all of us. Kia waimarie, Mauri ora Kia ora, Much Aroha.” – Agnes Devon, First Security delegate.

I first met John a little over 6 years ago. My workplace had just signed up with UNITE and we were waiting to be allocated an organiser and to negotiate our initial CEA. This mild-mannered, warm, friendly guy showed up to discuss our first set of claims and reassure us that our jobs would not be lost for joining the union. Needless to say John achieved a significant pay rise and improvement in working conditions from the following negotiation process and has continued to achieve wonders each year for us (and of course no one was fired). It has been a huge privilege to have been able to work closely with John on numerous occasions and I have seen him make a huge difference to the lives of union members in all the sectors he represents. In a nutshell John Minto is a good man in the truest sense and his departure will leave a very difficult void to fill. Me te mihi nui.” – Alex Pirie, EF Language School delegate.

As well as being a dedicated activist, John has also been a school teacher for most of his life and he is returning to that role. John has played an important role in establishing Unite for which we thank him.

Recently there have been news stories about the use of cameras in the workplace. Our delegates and members are aware that some companies use camera surveillance. While the union is not generally in favour of increased surveillance it is important for members to be aware of the rules. The rules for the use of surveillance at work come from the principles and intentions of The Privacy Act 1993.

Here are five points about surveillance.
1. Any company wishing to use camera surveillance must take reasonable measures to make sure that you know that cameras are being used to collect information in the workplace. However there are exceptions to this if an employer has reasonable grounds to believe a particular illegal activity is occurring and making staff aware of the operation of cameras would undermine their use.
2. The information collected cannot be personal information about your private life – it can only be about you in so far as it relates to your obligations in the workplace. It cannot be used for anything other than what it is intended to be used for.
3. You can have access to any information (footage etc) collected about you. One example of this is that an employer can’t say in a disciplinary that an alleged misconduct is on camera without agreeing to provide footage if asked by your representative.
4. Anything presented must be current and complete (meaning you should ask for dates of any information presented and footage from before and after alleged offences) and cannot otherwise be misleading.
5. The Employment Relations Act 2000 also has a bearing on the use of surveillance because it requires a duty of good faith from your employer, meaning there should be no misleading or deceptions. However covert/hidden surveillance can still be used if the employer has acted in good faith by forming a policy on covert surveillance and informing employees of that policy.
Note: Some of the information here is sourced from Hesketh Henry Employment News, March 2012, but has been significantly altered for the purposes of this newsletter.

As advised in the December newsletter, the maximum fee in the fast food and cinema sectors has risen to the same as other members of Unite – to $5.50 per week. This only affects those who in restaurants and cinemas earning above $435 a week and took effect from the 1st April.
The union fee is calculated at 1.1% of wages with a minimum of two dollars and a mazimum of $5.50. This still makes Unite the best value union in the country.


23 Apr

English Language schools, Qantas Airways call centre, Waikato DHB , Events and Hoyts cinemas, Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Restaurant Brands, First Security.

Unite Union Delegates training day at the Auckland Unite office

English Language schools
Members at EF English language school have received a 3.5% increase in their new union contract which has a one year term before expiry. At the Embassy English language school Unite signed off on a three-year deal which will increase pay by 3% in the first year and 3.5% in the second year, then on the third year it will increase by a further a minimum of 3% but it will increase by more if inflation is higher than 3%.

Qantas Airways call centre
Between 80 and 90 members employed by Qantas at its call centre have achieved and ratified their first ever union agreement. It is a three year deal which gives 3% increase on wages and allowances for each year and is also back-dated for a significant period to June 2011. Many conditions have been clarified and during negotiations a significant problem was uncovered in that the large pay bands were not working with far too many staff at the bottom of the band. Unite and the company have agreed to resolve the problem during the course of the agreement.

Waikato DHB attendants
In February Unite signed off a new agreement based around the national Terms of Settlement which applied to a group of unions with smaller contracts at the DHB. Highlights of the agreement are an additional week of leave for those with 5 years’ service, a one-off payment of $100 in February 2012, a one-off payment of $750 in April, and then a 2.5% increase on rates halfway through the agreement.

A start in Events and Hoyts cinemas
The first negotiation session has been held with the Events and Hoyts cinema chains. Readings will be negotiated mid-year. Union claims include higher wages, guaranteed hours, and improved benefits.

Initiation of bargaining with Burger King
Unite has initiated bargaining again with Burger King. This means the company has to negotiate a new agreement with Unite. After last year we hoped that this company would stop keeping nearly all its staff on the minimum wage. However that was not to be the case. From April 1 the $13.50 legal minimun wage is being applied to all staff up to level 3 proficiency. Team trainers & maintenance will be on $13.75 and Production Service Coordinator’s on $14. These are the lowest wages in the fast food industry. If we are going to improve these wages we need union members at BK to start getting actively involved in Unite and the negotiations planned for later this year.

McDonald’s workers GET pay increase from union deal
Because there was a Collective Agreement already in place at McDonald’s there has been an automatic increase of either 50c or 3.85% on all pay rates from April 1. The full agreement gets renegotiated next year.

Wendy’s: Payrise for all from April 1
Unite’s union agreement with Wendy’s stipulates that all rates increase by the same amount as the minimum wage. This means there will be a 50 cent an hour increase from April 1. We have initiated bargaining with the company so there will be claims meeting soon to hear from members what changes they want in the agreement.

Restaurant Brands: Disappointing offer
Negotiations with Restaurant Brands (KFC, Pizza Hutt and Starbucks) got off to a rocky start with the company asking for takebacks. The company wants to reduce the break time to 10 minutes, introduce 2 hour minimum shifts at KFC, and only increase wages for most by 1.5%. The union is asking for $15 an hour, guaranteed hours and penalties if workers miss their breaks. The company is claiming it needs its take-backs to increase its profitability. On the second set of negotiating days (April 12 and 13) the company didn’t move from its 1.5% pay offer. There was a suggestion that there may be a little more on offer for KFC members only but not much.
Unite will be going through a process with the membership and a survey is being distributed to members to complete (go to to see the online version). Unite doesn’t view the offer as worth taking into formal ratification meetings because the company usually offers a percentage which either covers inflation or is the same percentage movement as the minimum wage. Unless the company improves its offer there could be problems in store for this brand.
NOTE: We have produced and will continue to produce more detailed special newsletters and emails to keep members at RBL informed of bargaining progress.

First security: Good gains made but still concerns
In March Unite concluded a new agreement with First Security. It is a 13-month deal from January 1, 2012 through to January 31, 2012. It includes a 2% increase on all paid rates which have been backdated to January 1, 2012. There was also a negotiated one-off payment of $100 for union members.
There were also some good improvements on conditions of employment. Patrol offices are now entitled to an extra $100 allowance for each occasion that they are required to do a double-run (i.e. cover two areas in one shift). There is also a new employee well-being clause. Where there were few procedures before, the employee well-being clause now ensures there is a process to follow when a guard has been assaulted or suffers and injury at work.
Another contentious issue has been employee deductions; there is now a clear process of consultation for instances where the company wishes to make an authorised deduction from employees pay.


23 Apr

Some major employers are running an attack against the conditions of working people throughout the country. The Ports of Auckland employers and Talley’s-owned AFFCO bosses both say that they want greater ‘flexibilisation’.
When these types of employers say they want flexibilisation they don’t mean that hours of work should be made more flexible in a way that suits workers. The flexibilisation they speak of is the type that means workers have to scramble for hours, compete for hours, and ring in over the phone to see if there is work for them. When they say flexibilisation they mean ‘casualisation’.
Our union in particular has a strong record of campaigning against casualisation because we set out to organise amongst many types of workplaces that have became more casualised since the 1990s.Our position is clear. Our members need secure hours of work each week, our members need secure jobs that can’t be unfairly taken away from them, and members need income security for if they are in a situation where they don’t have a job.
We will continue with our objective of opposing casualisation with campaigns and negotiations. Over the next period working people need to be very astute to protect income and conditions. It starts here with supporting union initiatives at your workplace and another big part of this is supporting other workers whose employers are attempting to casualise them.

Auckland Port workers were able to beat back a Port company attempt to sack the entire workforce and replace them with contract workers on much worse wages and conditions.
In the process they wanted to destroy the union that represents port and maritime workers. If the bosses had succeeded all workers would have been put on the back foot. That is why there was tremendous international and national solidarity with the port workers.
The bosses were having difficulty getting any ship loaded in Auckland or unloaded anywhere else in the world. The struggle continues with the company saying it still wants to contract out jobs and achieve greater flexibilisation. Upon return to the workplace union members were told they weren’t allowed to display union logos but members are standing strong.

The Talley’s family acquired 100% ownership of AFFCO in 2011. Many AFFCO workers say that they were expecting trouble when they heard Talley’s had made a successful bid.
That’s because Talley’s has an extremely anti-union history. It includes lobbying for changes which led to the 1991 Employment Contracts Act 1991, illegally using scab labour during a lockout in its Open Country Cheese factory in the Waikato, and asserting that men are better for filleting fish while women are more suited to pole dancing after they lost an equal opportunity employment case.
Just under 1000 AFFCO meat workers have been locked out at nine North Island plants. As with last year’s CMP/ANZCO lockout, the union had not taken strike action – the company has simply locked out the workers because they don’t want to accept significant cut-backs against their conditions. This is the type of employer aggression that does serious damage to whole communities. Union workers who haven’t been locked out have taken limited strikes to put pressure on the employer. In order to win the dispute the workers need money to sustain themselves.
We encourage members to give what they can afford via one of the following methods of payment: You can give a quick $5 by calling: 0900 562 5688 (0900 LOCKOUT). One-off and regular donations can be made directly to a Kiwi Bank dispute fund. The account name is ‘NZCTU Disputes Fund’ and the number is 38 9007 0894028 08

Negotiation update at Restaurant Brands – Feedback needed from Unite members

19 Apr




Welcome to the SECOND EDITION of Unite News Bargaining Update for members employed by Restauarant Brands Ltd

Two days of negotiations on April 12 & 13 failed to reach an agreement on a new Collective Agreement. There are five major areas of disagreement.

The company has not moved from its 1.5% pay offer. There was a suggestion that there may be a little more on offer for KFC members only but not much. The start rate would move to from $13.13 to $13.50 (2.8%) but only because the minimum wage rose to that level. This is a long way from the $15 an hour start rate being asked for and does not even match the usual increase each year which in the past has at least matched the movement in the minimum wage which this year was 3.85%.

The offer is for a minimum of 25 hours for LAS qualified after three years. We asked for a guarantee of hours after one year for Gold Star or higher. We suggested that a regular roster should have been established by one year which could be protected. In that case we accepted that the minimum could vary according to availability. We were disappointed that there was no response at the negotiation to a small practical suggestion that when a store plans to hire new staff it posts a notice on the board asking for volunteers for the available hours and shifts. It is our view that some Restaurant Managers keep too many staff on their books to maintain the maximum “flexibility” in their rostering when the priority should be maximising the regular rostered hours for existing staff.

The company continues to ask for a change in the breaks from 15 to 10 minutes. We argued that 15 minutes was an established norm in the industry that reflects the fact that workers are on their feet the whole time and have restricted options of where they can take their break or how they can access or heat food. There was progress however on getting breaks and that these should be in the middle of the work period that applies.


We want the free meal and other discounted food while on shift to be in the Collective Agreement and not solely at the company’s discretion. We understand they brought in the “It’s our Shout” policy just before we started negotiations to undermine the union bargaining and it is not guaranteed into the future.


The company is continuing to ask for a minimum shift length of 2 hours at KFC. We think this would be a major step backwards for KFC workers and would create shifts where you hardly make any money once time and costs of travel to and from work are calculated.

We need a strong message to the company that the current offer is not good enough. We are circulating a survey of members to get your opinion. Please fill this out as soon as possible and pass it back to your delegate or local union organiser. It can aslo be faxed to 09 8469509 or emailed to support Included in the survey are the issues you consider most important and what you are willing to do to get it. This includes the possibility we may have to take industrial action to support our claims.
All members of unite working at any Restaurant Brands store are legally entitled to take industrial action in support of our claims. Any collective action we take is legally allowed and you can’t be disciplined for taking such action. Six years ago thousands of Restaurant Brands members took action to get our first Collective Agreement. It may be we need to take action to improve things today.
Some of the actions that are completely legal and protected are:

  • Doing a “go-slow” or “work to rule” at work.
  • Stopping work for short periods (15 minutes to two hours) over the busy lunch and dinner times.
  • Taking your breaks together when you choose.
  • Coming to work late or not coming at all for a shift and telling the company you were on strike when you get to work that day or the next.
  • Having a few key staff (cooks, supervisors, managers) take action together on a shift while others keep “working”.

April 1st Pay rise at McD’s

5 Apr

April 1st Pay rise at McD’s


All Unite union members at McDonald’s will get a pay rise of 50 cents (for crew) or 3.85% (for supervisors) from April 1st.

This increase was negotiated as part of the collective agreement negotiations last year. At that time Union members also received a special "pass on" payment of $50 or $100 which those on individual agreements did not get. That special payment was to allow for the terms of the Collective Agreement to be given to non union members.

The new rates for union members are:

Minimum Crew Rate – $13.50

Crew CCO* – $13.50 + 0.25c

Crew CCO (12 months)** – $13.50 + 0.50c

Crew Trainer – $13.50 + 0.75

Maintenance Person – $13.50 + 0.75

Shift Assistant – $13.50 + 0.75

Shift Supervisor / McCafe Team Leader (SSC PCAP complete) – $16.21

Certified Shift Supervisor (ASMC PCAP complete) – $17.29

In the collective agreement last year there were also some other important changes that improved the situation for union members. These included the following:

1. Targeted Scheduled Hours

This provision shall only apply to those employees normally working more than 25 hours a week; and who have 12 months’ service.

McDonald’s will endeavour to provide security of hours where possible to ensure employees can meet their ongoing financial commitments. Therefore the employer will schedule hours to minimise wide fluctuations in the hours an employee regularly works. It is agreed that this protocol will not apply where genuine business reasons for reduction in hours exist that are outside of the control of the Restaurant Manager, and when hours have been reduced equitably. This includes, but is not limited to: New restaurants where a pattern of trade has not been established; downturn in sales; where an employee receives more hours to cover ‘peak periods’, such as special events and school holidays and other similar situations.

This provision is based on the agreed availability of work at the start of an employee’s employment and is contingent upon the employee’s performance being rated at good or better. Any permanent changes of availability by the employee shall be advised to the employer. The manager shall advise the employee on what effect this change may have on their ongoing rostered hours.

Employees covered by this clause shall be offered additional regular shifts before new employees are employed. Where more than one employee offers to take up any additional regular shift then based on ability, qualifications and availability and all things being equal, the employee with the longer service shall be considered first.

Except for genuine business reasons, where an employee covered by this clause has had their normal hours reduced by more than 25%, they should approach their manager as to the reason for the reduction. If the employee believes the reduction to be inequitable and are therefore not satisfied with the explanation, then they have the right of appeal using the escalation process in point four. Unless otherwise agreed regular hours shall normally mean the average of the previous eight weeks roster. All things being equal any reductions of hours shall be spread equitably across employees in the store.

Escalation Process: Where an employee believes this protocol has been unfairly breached they shall first raise the matter with their manager. Where there is not a satisfactory outcome the employee may raise it with the appropriate Operations Supervisor or their franchisee. At any time, the employee may seek advice from a representative; a parent/guardian, delegate, Union official or other representative. Where there is still no resolution the employee may request the union to raise it with McDonald’s Human Resource Department. If the matter cannot be resolved it will be referred to the General Secretary of Unite Union and the Head of HR and Talent for McDonald’s

2. Other Agreed Matters

  • Security at stores – the company agrees to undertake a review of security procedures at its restaurants.
  • Social club is voluntary.
  • An agreement on the application of public holidays.
  • Health and Safety representatives will be provided with 2 days per rep. H&S training is not limited to approved training courses under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.
  • CCO training shall be made available to all employees. Where best efforts have been made by both the employee and Restaurant Manager/Franchisee to successfully complete CCO training within 12 months the employee shall be eligible to receive the ‘CCO + 12 month’ wage rate.
  • Payment for higher graded work.Subject to the facts in each case, if, on a very regular basis, an employee is performing a more senior role than the role they are remunerated for, then it is appropriate that they receive the rate of pay relevant to the higher graded role

3. Breaks

The timing of breaks should reflect our commitment to customer service but generally breaks will be given at reasonable intervals during the daily work period and accordance with the breaks schedule.

In exceptional circumstances where an employees is unable to take rest or meal breaks due to work demand they shall be compensated as follows:

Rest break – 15 minutes shall be added to the timesheet for each break missed

Meal break – 30 minutes shall be added to the time sheet for each break missed.

Nothing in this clause frees a manager from their obligations to ensure all employees are able to take their rest breaks. Where there are regular failures to provide breaks the employer shall take appropriate review of staffing levels.

Breaks Schedule

Entitlement for total hours worked (not including meal breaks)

  • Less than two hours – Nil.
  • Over 2 hours but not more than 4 hours – One 15 minute paid drink break.
  • Over 4 hours but not more than 6 hours – One 15 minute paid drink break and one unpaid half-hour meal break.
  • Over 6 hours but not more than 8 hours – Two 15 minute paid drink breaks and one unpaid half hour meal break
  • More than 8 hours – Repeat the above break entitlements as if the employee’s work period had started at the end of the eighth hour.

New Union Fee Structure

Unite’s fee structure changed from 1st April 2012, as approved by the Unite AGM last December.

Members working in cinemas and restaurants have paid a lower maximum fee than other members for some years. In 2010 it was decided to phase in the uniform fees over a two year period. As of 1st April all Unite members will pay a maximum fee of $5.50 per week (currently some pay a maximum of only $4.75)

The change will only affect restaurant and cinema members earning more than $432 a week. The maximum increase will be 75 cents a week for someone earning $500 or more. As you can see from this newsletter, the union is right now fighting for wage increases that will keep union fees being value for money.

Negotiations begin at KFC, Pizza Hutt and Starbucks

2 Apr

Hi all Restaurant Brands members.

Negotiations began this week for a new Collective Agreement covering workers at KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks. All these brands are covered by the Restaurant Brands Collective Agreement with Unite Union.

Over recent years we have sought to improve the wages and conditions of union members at Restaurant Brands and other fast food companies covered by Unite Union Collective Agreements. We have made progress on wages, getting rid of youth rates, and more security over hours and breaks. We have also had a constant struggle to enforce those rights – particularly over hours and breaks.

The first negotiation session was held over two days on March 26 and 27. There were 9 delegates from various company stores across the country and two union officials – myself (Mike Treen, Unite National Director) as lead advocate and Joe Carolan, a Unite fast food organiser in Auckland.

This year we submitted 39 claims to the company for discussion. The company has also submitted its own claims to change the agreement. The company claims included reducing the break time to 10 minutes and introducing 2-hour shifts at KFC. The opening wages offer was also a disappointing 1.5% for most. While this may not be the final offer it indicated what the company claims it can afford given their recent profit decline.


The union claims covered areas that should be included in a collective agreement plus some operational issues that may not go in the agreement but can be covered in a “Terms of Settlement” as part of the negotiations. Not all claims are listed here and some have been grouped together to make them clearer.

1) Wages: Start Rate of $15 – all rates adjusted above that by a similar percentage increase. A new and higher rate for cooks. $20 allowance for being called in on an RDO. Allowance for working after 10pm.

2) Guaranteed hours: After 1 year’s service staff should be able to have minimum guaranteed hours of work. This should be able to improve with longer service.

3) Breaks:Double time for missed breaks. The union believes we need a penalty if the company does not ensure all staff get their breaks. Breaks should also be scheduled as close to the mid-point as possible of any work period.

4) Pass on: No pass-on of the benefits in the union agreement to non-union staff unless there is an agreed form of compensation of union members for negotiating the collective.

5) Overtime: Overtime waiver abolished with all overtime paid at time and a half after 8 hours.

6) Disciplinary procedure: Amend the disciplinary procedure checklist to include written notification at least 24-hours in advance, the right to have a support person or representative including contact details for the union, and full disclosure of information being relied on. It should make clear whether the action is considered misconduct or serious misconduct and what the possible outcome could be. If there is no misconduct found it should be explained that references will be removed from the file. There should also be a process if serious misconduct is found. This should include a final representation from the employee to respond and to request a lesser penalty. Investigation meetings should be in paid time with minimum shift if on RDO.

7)Staff areas: to be provided where possible – especially in any new or refurbished stores. Lockers for staff. Access to food heating facility, fridge, water, tea, coffee.

8) Early Outs & unpaid work: Clear prohibition on being sent home early unless by mutual agreement. Explanation that “off the book” work (including training) is not acceptable and can be considered serious misconduct if encouraged by a manager.

9)Shoes: to be treated as part of the uniform and supplied by the company.

10) Security: Stores to be reviewed for security of staff (distance to car parks etc.) and a guard put on duty for late nights where appropriate. Also look at night security for drive through window.

11) Meals: Free meal on shift with all items up to a certain value able to be ordered. Half price discount on all items in store outside hours.

12) Bullying & harrassment: A culture change around bullying and harrassment is needed. Restrictions put on use of video surveillance to micromanage managers and staff.

13) Leave: 7 paid sick days plus 3 paid family days. Extra week’s leave after 5 years’ service

14)Compliance: Worker’s rights under the Collective (ie breaks being taken) to be part of any audit process of the stores.


The company claims included some that were simply clarifying the agreement and need not be controversial. Below are the main claims that could affect members if accepted.

1) Removal of the higher rate for union members under the KFC Gold Star

2) Two-hour minimum shift at KFC

3) 10-minute (not 15) break and removal of a provision to take the 20-minute meal break at the end of a shift.

4) Company to be able to ask for a medical certificate after one day if they pay for it.

5) Prohibition on working for competitors like McDonald’s or putting company information on social media like facebook.

6) A two year agreement with no guranteed rise in year two – to be left to discussions followoing the minimum wage announcement.

Wage offer:

The company also made its initial wage offer. The company accepted that we would find their offer “disappointing” but claimed that this was reasonable in the circumstances because they had suffered a reduction in profit over the past year.

The wage offer was to increase the base rates to the legal minimum wage in KFC and Pizza Hut ($13.50), no increase to the Starbucks minimum ($13.77) and a 1.5% increase on all other rates and allowances.

If these new rates were imposed in the new agreement it would be the first time in recent years that all rates haven’t increased by at least the minimum wage. The percentage increase of the minimum wage from April 1 this year is 3.85%. Last year we got the higher of the increase in the minimum wage or inflation. This meant that the percentage pay rise last year was higher than the 25c increase in the minimum wage. Therefore we were able to move the base rates to be 13 cents above the legal minimum – an important first step to stopping this industry just being a minimum wage payer. Other rates increased by the same percentage so the margins were maintained.

The company offer this year (at this stage) has no guaranteed increase for all rates to match the minimum wage or inflation like we have had in previous agreements.

The current rates applying at KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks are listed below and the new rates under this offer are listed beside them.

                                                           Current Rates                      Offer from company


Team member (Base)                            $13.13                                  $13.50 (+37c to = the minimum wage increase)

Team Member (Gold Star)                      $14.11                                  $14.32 (+21c)

Team Member (Shift Supervisor)             $14.73                                  $14.95 (+22c)

Pizza Hut

Team member (Base)                            $13.13                                  $13.50 (+37c)

Team Member (Expert Gold)                  $13.98                                   $14.19 (+21c)

Team Member (Shift Supervisor)             $14.60                                   $14.82 (+22c)


Barista (Entry)                                      $13.77                                    $13.77 (No increase)

Barista (Certified)                                  $14.47                                    $14.69 (+22c)

Shift Supervisor                                    $14.62                                     $14.84 (+22c)

(Under the proposal the Learning Coach position at Starucks is abolished and replaced with a new Trainer Allowance of $0.27c per hour)

The minimum rate will have to increase to $13.50 anyway. That is because the legal minimum wage increases to $13.50 from April 1.


The company representatives indicated that if they are able to reach an agreement with us on wages then they would be open to agreeing to some of our other claims (at least in part). These included:

  • Guaranteed 20 hours after three years subject to availability and being LAS qualified.
  • Stronger action to ensure breaks are taken
  • Elimination of the overtime waiver
  • Rewriting the disciplinary process clause
  • Clarifiying and enforcing policy regarding bullying and harrassment and some restrictions on video usage
  • Ensuring rosters go up on Tuesday of prior week
  • Agreeing that early outs should be by mutual agreement and all work and training to be paid.


We are trying to negotiate a separate union collective agreement for managers as well. We understand the pressures they are under and the fact that their wages have fallen behind both the increase in the cost of living and in relation to waged staff given the hours many work.


Negotiations are scheduled to resume on April 12 & 13.

We are hoping that the company will return with a better offer. We will continue to argue that the company profit drop was not the workers’ fault. There were three main factors that created this problem for the company – the Christchurch earthquake, the cost of the double down campaign (the company mispriced the product in relation to demand and took customers from higher margin products), and lack of investment in Pizza Hut as they prepare stores for franchising out. You must wonder if the people who made those decisions have had their pay cut.

However the only way to ensure we can get a better offer is if we have as many members as possible in the stores. That is not just the job of your union and its officials – it is something we all can do. Talk about these negotiations with your workmates. Make sure they are in the union. Try and make your store a 100% union store.


Mike Treen

National Director, Unite Union

Lead Advocate Restaurant Brands negotiation

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