Unite Union has welcomed the proposed $2.90 an hour increase in the start rate at SkyCity from $20.10 to $23.00 an hour.
“This is a good start to bargaining for the union collective agreement which is scheduled to start this Thursday, said Unite Union Advocate Mike Treen.
“We think they were morally required to raise wages above the living wage as they had essential workers (cleaners, security, facilities) working right through the level 4 lockdown last year. We also think the correct response to a supposed labour shortage is to start by paying at least a living wage and it’s really positive to see a major hospitality employer do the right thing here.
“The union is disappointed that the company for the first time has started negotiations with their non-union staff before bargaining is concluded with the union.
“We are also disappointed that the company deliberately delayed the start of bargaining by several weeks, seemingly to allow the company time to make this pre-emptive strike in bargaining to undermine the union and its role.
“I wrote to the company on July 10 arguing that “We need to restructure pay at SkyCity to reward staff for their skills and service and the unhealthy unsocial hours they must work. There clearly needs to be a substantial wage movement to do so.” I offered an “adult discussion: on how this might be achieved.
“A $2.90 an hour increase in the base rate is a good start. ‘We will bank this offer as the starting point for bargaining and concentrate on rewards for skill, service, and compensation for anti-social hours the SkyCity staff have to work.
“Every non-union staff member should take this opportunity to join the union and use the bargaining round to improve the offer being made to them as individuals through the collective process the union gives them”, said Mike Treen.