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Govt planning changes to “Hobbit Law,” restoring collective bargaining

News from NZ Government
The Government is taking another step to build an inclusive and productive economy by restoring collective bargaining rights for screen sector workers and adopting the model unanimously put forward by the Film Industry Working Group, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.

“To deliver good jobs, decent work conditions and fair wages, the Government believes all New Zealanders should have a voice in their workplace and be able to work together to negotiate their pay and conditions at work,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.

“Screen workers lost their right to support each other in negotiations through collective bargaining when the ‘Hobbit law’ was implemented by the National Government in 2010. When the Coalition Government got into office we brought together industry, business and worker representatives in the Film Industry Working Group to provide advice on a model that suits their sector that would protect screen workers’ rights.

“The Film Industry Working Group unanimously agreed on a model that means screen sector workers can continue as contractors, but will gain the right to negotiate collectively using good faith bargaining and a dispute resolution scheme. These are similar to the protections that employees enjoy, but most of our screen sector workers have missed out on for the last nine years.

“This model will deliver workplace rights to more workers than a straight repeal of the ‘Hobbit law’ would have. Instead we are ensuring more workers gain workplace protections, while providing certainty and flexibility for our internationally-competitive screen sector.

“This is a win-win solution that demonstrates the value of the Government’s collaborative approach to building a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy.”

The Government will now draft legislation, to be introduced later this year. The changes are expected to pass into law in mid-2020.

Iain Lees-Galloway says the Government has not accepted the working group’s recommendation that the ‘Hobbit law’ be expanded from film and video games to all screen production work as it would be a wide expansion of scope.

“The model will apply to screen production work such as on films, drama serials, commercials and video games. Its exact coverage will be determined during drafting in consultation with the industry.”

http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1906/Fact_Sheet_NZs_screen_sector.pdf

Joint media release from NZ Council of Trade Unions, Equity NZ and NZ Writers Guild
The announcement today by the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway, to support collective bargaining for those working in the film and screen industry, is welcomed. “It is fantastic that the Government is adopting the model which was developed and unanimously agreed to by the Film Industry Working Group (FIWG). This Working Group has clearly demonstrated that when an industry comes together to address issues how successful that process can be,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

Melissa Ansell-Bridges, Director, of Equity New Zealand, was a member of the FIWG and is confident that the changes proposed will make a real difference, “It is hugely significant that workers in the screen industry will now have access to the rights and benefits of collective bargaining. It’s a hard life being an actor in New Zealand, ensuring that actors have access to collective bargaining is simply about fairness at work.”

Alice Shearman, Executive Director of New Zealand Writers Guild, also a member of the FIWG is looking forward to the law coming into effect next year. “2020 will be a good year for screenwriters in the screen industry. The ability to stabilise their economic and working rights through collective agreements will be career enhancing and stimulate industry growth. It has been a long time coming for screenwriters to benefit from enforceable terms and conditions in their contracts.”

2 comments:

  1. Alana, 14. June 2019, 4:37

    Yes. Righting a historic caving in to Hollywood studio internal politics by John Key and Company.

     
  2. Tony Jansen, 14. June 2019, 13:14

    But they are not allowed to strike. Isn’t this a fundamental right – to withhold labour?

     

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