A satisfying job with good work conditions and that pays a living wage is important to the wellbeing of individuals and whānau.
MANA is committed to the goal of full employment and will invest in job creation and the development of new, sustainable employment initiatives so that there are jobs for all those who are able to work. Job creation is a key focus for MANA as unemployment is on the rise yet again – and particularly for Māori, Pacific Peoples, and young people across the board.
Another key focus is to ensure that all workers are well supported at work with good conditions and that all are paid at least a living wage. For the last 30 years, workers’ real wages have gone down while the cost of living has gone up, making many people much worse off than ever before and requiring workers to work many additional hours to make up the difference.
It is important that all workers are able to join and participate in unions to represent their collective interests and negotiate for decent wages and conditions of work.
MANA policy priorities are to:
Pursue measures to provide full employment
- Develop an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable economic development programme with national and regional employment development strategies, including in food production, public transport, energy generation and biofuels, low tech community and whānau housing, IT, creative arts and design, and te reo Māori.
- State housing building project to build 10,000 new homes per year until the crisis in rental availability for low income people and families is addressed, generating new jobs and training opportunities across all related trades.
- Introduce a scheme to create new community service jobs for those currently unemployed. These jobs would be in schools, hospitals, retirement villages, kaumātua flats, and community organisations. Workers would be paid a living minimum wage instead of a benefit, and literacy and numeracy learning would be provided where required.
- Incentivise the processing of New Zealand resources in New Zealand to keep work and jobs here at home.
- Maintain the public provision of services, and oppose privatization.
- Ensure no-one leaves school without moving to higher education, training, or being otherwise meaningfully engaged.
- Remove unfair incentives for employers to hire migrants on fixed-term work visas, instead of New Zealand residents, by ensuring migrant workers receive all legal entitlements including minimum wage, holiday and sick leave, and being informed of their right to join a union.
Ensure workers enjoy good work conditions
- Repeal the 90 day trial period for new employees.
- Increase sick leave to a minimum of 10 days per year.
- Extend paid parental leave to 12 months.
- Increase redundancy payments to a minimum of six weeks pay for the first year of employment, and two weeks for each subsequent year.
- Add Matariki Day as a new public holiday under the Holidays Act.
Ensure workers are paid fairly
- Increase the minimum wage to $18.80 per hour (a living wage) and index it at 66% of the average wage to ensure it remains a living wage.
- Repeal youth rates for workers aged 16-17 years.
- Guarantee workers’ security of hours by requiring employers to offer extra hours to existing staff, up to 40 hours per week, before hiring new staff.
- A working week should, wherever possible, be no more than 40 hours over 5 days. Any work in excess of 40 hours per week, or 8 hours per day, is to be paid at time and a half.
- Those working on public holidays are entitled to time and a half for the hours worked and a day in lieu.
- All casual employment to have a 25% loading on the hourly rate to cover holiday and other entitlements and the absence of job security.
- Where state services are contracted out to community and iwi organisations, funding levels are to be set at a level that allows existing pay rates and conditions of work to be maintained.
- Support pay and employment equity.
- Remove workers’ pay from competition between companies in the same industry through industry-wide minimum pay scales and conditions of employment in industries where unions are present.
Support unions to represent workers’ collective interests
- Support changes to employment relations laws to give workers greater bargaining power to negotiate wages and conditions with their employers, including the right to strike.
- To encourage industry-wide bargaining, employers would be required to meet and appoint a joint bargaining team to meet with the union within 30 days of initiation of bargaining.
- If an employer refuses to conclude a collective agreement, the union has the right to have the matter determined by an arbitration body.
- Enable NZ workers to take industrial action in support of workers employed by the same transnational company overseas.
- Impose significant penalties on employers who discourage workers from joining unions.
- Ensure that workers’ who receive the benefit of a collective agreement without belonging to the union which negotiated the agreement, are required to pay at last the equivalent of the union fee back to the union in recompense for the advantage gained.