Unite Union wants answers from the government as to why hundreds of thousands of workers are still waiting to have the annual leave stolen from them in the past restored.
It is three years since Unite first wrote to major employers in the fast food industry telling them that they were miscalculating annual leave for their staff.
It is two years since MBIE, the government agency responsible, admitted being in error in the payment of their own staff.
Last week we discovered that the firm Xero, who provide accounting software for a third of all New Zealand small businesses as well as online payroll services, have sent us and other employers their method for calculating annual leave and it means employers will get many workers annual leave just plain wrong. This firm may be de facto the largest payroll provider in the country with hundreds of thousands of clients.
Unite members employed at Restaurant Brands have overwhelmingly voted to accept a new two year Collective Agreement, 98% in favour of ratification.
The key improvements are:
- For the first time ever no-one working at RBL will be on the minimum wage. The entry rate will be 10 cents an hour above the minimum wage this year ($15.85) and 20 cents higher from 1st April 2018.
- Gold Star, Expert Gold, Barista Basics and Star qualified staff will get a 60 cents per hour increase.
- LAS/Shift Supervisor qualified staff will receive a base rate of $17.94 per hour ($1 per hour more for most) as long as they are willing to run shifts and be paid the sole charge allowance within their normal fixed roster when required (if not prepared to run shifts the increase is only 50 cents per hour). Sole charge allowances have been adjusted so the total hourly rate increase for running sole charge shifts is 50 cents (please note that the KFC LAS sole charge rate is therefore $22.27 per hour - not $22.77 as incorrectly stated in RBL’s media release).
- Next year all base rates rates will increase by the minimum wage plus 10 cents. Recently the minimum wage has been increasing by 50 cents each year. If that happened in 2018 then all hourly rates will increase by 60 cents per hour.
- All increases will be backdated to 1st April 2017 (this will be paid after the ratification vote is completed).
You can download and view all the hourly rates and allowances here
2 Fixed Shifts
There was much debate and negotiation over rosters and fixed shifts - particularly as to how members can improve their rosters when shifts become vacant in stores. Because fixed shifts have only been in place for a few months we have an agreement to review the processes later in the year, but we have some interim processes in the meantime:
- Single vacant shifts should be offered to existing staff within four weeks
- Temporary cover shifts (e.g. when someone is on ACC, maternity or other leave etc) will need to be assigned to existing staff if longer than four weeks in duration.
- If multiple shifts become vacant (e.g. if someone leaves) and the shifts are not offered to existing staff before being advertised then staff can apply for the position
- After 1st August 2017 staff will be able to apply to drop a shift to allow them to pick up a different shift (e.g. a shift on the same day but different times).
In November we will have a working party to review the vacant shift processes and make changes if agreed upon, and there will be workshops that the union will attend to educate both crew and managers about how the fixed shift processes work.
RBL have also committed to publishing in each store the weekly roster which identifies both the current fixed and current vacant shifts.
3. Other matters
- A commitment to having elected Health and Safety Reps
- A process for being compensated immediately when paid breaks are missed (after 1st November 2017 once systems are in place). The union and the company agree that breaks should be taken and not missed. The aim of paying compensation is there to ensure missed breaks are recorded and that managers are motivated to make sure they are taken.
- Up to two weeks additional payment for redundancy (currently there is no payment apart from notice).
- A rewriting of the disciplinary process, including limiting the duration of written warnings to 12 months.
- Continuation of the benefits programme as a “pass-on” payment to union members only.
- Six monthly operational meetings where the union reps and the company can discuss and resolve operational issues (e.g. meals, uniforms etc).
- Sharing with the union the audit report on annual leave compliance.
The full proposed new 2017 to 2019 collective agreement can be downloaded and viewed by clicking here (PDF file).
The Terms of Settlement contains other matters agreed between Unite and Restaurant Brands that sit outside the collective agreement.
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Why is it So Awesome?
Imagine you’re that person at your at who ends up doing all the dishes ALL the time! But no one really notices it or appreciates it!
By stopping doing the dishes you show your lazy at mates that it’s not a magical fairy that cleans them all over night... it’s YOU! This is strike action.
When you work for Restaurant Brands you make the company heaps of $$$ but you don’t see much of it. The made $26 million in profit last year and paid the CEO a $1 million bonus recently. By stopping work for a while you remind RBL who really makes the company so profitable ... YOU!
You won’t be paid for the time you are on strike but you’re doing it to make a point. And it’s worth it remember? A lot of the pay and conditions you have now were won by workers taking strike action in the past.
It is legal to take strike action when you are in a union and bargaining for better pay. And it’s normal to feel a bit apprehensive the first time but like anything, you’ll get the hang of it! Strike action is about making people appreciate what you do!
Who can participate in a strike?
All union members who are covered by the Collective Bargaining are entitled to strike. This time it includes both waged and salaried members of Unite. If you are not a union member join! Or you will need to work as normal.
KFC, Pizza Hut, Carls Jr and Starbucks workers will strike tomorrow after negotiations broke down over a new collective agreement.
“Yesterday Restaurant Brands announced profits of $26 million and they have paid their CEO a million dollar bonus. Tomorrow the workers who actually make and sell their products have to go on strike to get a few cents above the minimum wage” said Unite National Secretary Gerard Hehir.
“This is a stark example of the growing gap between rich and poor and Unite Union members at Restaurant Brands are taking action to close the gap a little bit. While Restaurant Brands have been paying huge bonuses and dividends and buying up large overseas, their workers are overworked and underpaid"
Restaurant Brands has rejected a very modest proposal from the union for a rise of 10 cents and hour each year over three years above the minimum wage movement for the lowest paid workers. This will take to take their pay to 30 cents an hour above the minimum wage by 2019.
The union also wants Shift Supervisors, skilled and experienced staff who are able to run stores on their own, to get increases over three years that will move them towards a Living Wage.
“These are not school kids. They are qualified and experienced workers who can run a store on their own: managing staff, managing a retail store and a food production facility. They deserve a Living Wage and Restaurant Brands can afford to pay them a Living Wage”
We have had some reports of members being asked to change their "desired hours" and availability on Serveme recently.
Our advice is simple: do not make any changes unless you want to.
Reducing your availability or "desired hours" is likely to reduce your paid and Guaranteed Minimum Hours (GMH) as follows:Read more