Bargaining: Fly Safe Today – Be Fair With Pay

Our members who work for the Aviation Security Service (AvSec) hit the headlines recently after taking action for fair pay and conditions during collective bargaining.

Labour MP Grant Robertson and Green co-leader James Shaw show their support

Labour MP Grant Robertson and Green co-leader James Shaw show their support

Our members worked alongside their colleagues in the E tū union to jointly take a stand against an offer from their employer that would have meant a pay cut for many of them.

Every day, AvSec staff keep us safe when we’re in the air. They have legal powers that extend not only to airport security, but also along flight paths, and they take that responsibility seriously.

Concerned that they weren’t being treated with proper respect by their employer, AvSec staff twice rejected sub-standard collective agreements before voting in July to take industrial action in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

In response to the threat of three three-hour strikes towards the end of the school holidays, AvSec issued lockout notices which could have meant that all union members at AvSec were unable to work for 8 days, potentially causing havoc for passengers. AvSec extended the lockout to Queenstown and Dunedin airports, even though these were not taking any industrial action.

The PSA and E tū immediately filed for an injunction from the court, seeking to declare the lockout notices illegal, while at the same time agreeing to attend mediation with AvSec management in the hopes of reaching agreement.

The mediation was successful, and all strike and lockout notices were withdrawn, while members had a chance to discuss and vote on a new and improved offer from their employer. In the end, members of both unions overwhelmingly voted in favour of the proposed new collective agreement.

Thanks to everyone who sent messages of support to our AvSec members during the dispute, they really appreciated knowing our whole union was behind them.