The countdown is on. This month, New Zealanders go to the ballot box to vote on who will lead the country for the next three years.
It’s a good idea to get out and vote early. Polling booths are now open – drop in where you see the orange ‘polling booth’ signs across the country. If you haven’t enrolled to vote yet, or you need to change your details, you can do that at the same time as voting during the early voting period (11-22 September) but you cannot enrol on Election Day (23 September).
The outcome of the election could be life-changing for you and your family. E tū members are directly affected by Government policy. The setting of the minimum wage, for example, can make a gigantic difference for our lowest paid members. Local and international economic policy affects many E tū industries: Wherever you work, wherever you live, you need a Government that has your interests at heart.
That’s why E tū is mobilising for positive change in this election. The E tū National Executive has endorsed an ambitious plan to contact as many members as possible to discuss the important issues around this year’s election.
We know that elections are won on the ground, not just in the media, so we’re urging anyone who wants to make a real difference this September to get on board with our election campaign. If you live in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, there will be phone calling sessions at your local E tū office for you to contact your fellow E tū members. If you’re outside of those centres, there’s bound to be a local E tū campaign that we can connect you with or you can create your own small phone-calling hub.
E tū members know that the National Government is not on our side. In nine years of our current Government, union members have had many rights taken away. National has made collective bargaining harder, introduced the 90-day ‘fire at will’ law, and has overseen many E tū jobs being sent offshore, as well as failing to address other problems our communities face.
That’s why we are campaigning for a change of Government, which means voting for the Labour Party or the Green Party. E tū works closely with those parties to make sure their policies will improve the lives of our members. E tū is keenly focused on campaigning for Industry Standard Agreements, which would allow unions to negotiate wage rates industry-wide.
We need a Government that will meaningfully address a housing crisis that is driving up rents and locking Kiwi families out of home ownership; a Government that will stop the exploitation of our migrant workers, protect manufacturing and fight to keep well-paid jobs on New Zealand soil.
Most of all, we need a Government that will engage with unions as the democratic voice of working people to improve the lives of our members and their communities. It’s time for a change.
Our key political policies
The E tū National Executive has set down the four key policies we want adopted by political parties at this election:
- Restoring all the rights that National has removed (90 days fire-at-will, the right of contract change transfer off cleaners in small companies, the right to conclude a collective agreement once it has been initiated, the restrictions on partial strikes)
- The introduction of minimum wage and employment condition agreements across industries so we remove the undermining of collective bargaining by contractors, sub-contractors and labour hire companies
- Government to apply the Living Wage to all government department workers within first 12 months and those who are contracted to government departments (eg cleaners, catering workers and security guards) within first three years.
- Pay equity claim rights extended to all workers in female predominant industries through the implementation of the Pay Equity Working Group Report – a report that the current Government has tried to undermine.