Members of the Tertiary Education Union (TEU) have told MPs they welcome government plans to change employment law.
In a submission to the Education and Workforce Select Committee, the TEU said proposed amendments to the Employment Relations Agreement Act were a first step in addressing the imbalance between working people and employers.
The changes, the TEU said, will also reverse the poor policy and legislative decisions by the previous National Government, which sought to undermine support for collective bargaining.
TEU members told MPs they welcomed the re-establishment of rest and meal breaks in law, removal of the Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) opt-out clause, and restoration of the 30 day rule, which gives a new employee protection in their new place of employment and the chance to find out about their rights in terms of pay and conditions.
TEU members also welcomed the repeal of partial strike pay deductions and notice requirements for strikes as restoring the right of employees to collectively organise about their terms and conditions.
MPs were told by TEU members that the proposed requirement to include pay rates in collective agreements is a step in the right direction, but does not go far enough in providing the kind of transparency and clarity needed to ensure equity in the workplace. The TEU said all pay scales contained in collective agreements should have salary grades and steps that allow for advancement.
Provisions that will still allow employers with fewer than 20 people to us 90 day trial periods must also be removed from the Act altogether, the TEU said.
The TEU also added its support to the Council of Trade Unions’ substantive submission on the proposed law changes.