28 Aug 2018

KiwiRail and union strike innovative pay deal

9:55 am on 28 August 2018

KiwiRail has reached an innovative pay deal with its unionised workers.

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Photo: Wikicommons

The two-year agreement is being called a landmark deal because all members will receive the same dollar increase in pay, rather than a percentage increase.

The agreement was initiated by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, and under the deal the lowest paid will receive the biggest percentage rise.

KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy said the deal was reached in a matter of hours,.

"I commend the RMTU for initiating this innovative solution which is not only fair but will help those who need it most."

There will be an across-the-board increase of between $1.60 and $1.65 per hour, depending on hours and shifts worked, which equates to a 2.5 percent pay increase on average this year and a 2.7 pct increase next year.

The lowest-paid workers will receive the equivalent of a 6.9 percent pay increase.

The increase is backdated to July 1 and affects more than 2300 union members, or about three-quarters of KiwiRail's workforce.

The company and union have been working on High Performance, High Engagement programme, which brings management and workers together to solve business issues in the workplace and has led to improved productivity.

RMTU general secretary Wayne Butson said his members were pleased their suggestions were being taken seriously, and that fed into confidence and satisfaction and it was logical to extend it through to wage talks.

"RMTU members have seen the value of a pay deal which evens the playing field and supports the fairness and collective bargaining principles of unionism," he said.