Maritime New Zealand press release | The Jackal

9 Jan 2012

Maritime New Zealand press release

How much do these workers get paid?

The company says workers are getting $90,000 per year for 26 hours work. This is simply wrong, and management has not provided any supporting data to back up this claim.

A stevedores guarantee for 40 hours per week is $1,090.40 = $56,700.80 per annum @ 260 shifts per year.  To earn the money being quoted by Mr Gibson, stevedores would have to complete an extra 1,377 hours.  Stevedores are required to work days or nights, weekends, public holidays – basically any shifts 24/7 often 16 hour shifts.

Much of the work is skilled, and many staff have multiple qualifications.  It is dangerous, cold and tiring work. Workers regularly work many hours of overtime.  As one worker pointed out in a letter to the Herald recently, in a “good” week he worked 64 hours. For this he took home $2000 gross. A week of 64 hours is more than 1.5 jobs.

The dangers inherent is such working hours are obvious and the union believes the Port needs more workers and that overtime should not be a regular requirement.  Moreover, when workers have refused to do overtime, turmoil has ensued and ships have been delayed. The union has long believed that the current overtime based model is unsustainable, and looks to management to recognise this problem and act to resolve it.

How does the rostering work in the current agreement?

The current collective agreement is very flexible and makes provisions for the Port to employ:
  • Full time permanent employees (they are entitled to 40 hours per week of work over 7 days, and to stipulate at least one preferred week day off per week, but otherwise must work any day 24/7 on duties which can include those outside their normal role where this is all that is available).
  • P24’s – these are permanent employees but who are only guaranteed 24 hours work per week (3×8 hour shifts any day 24/7, again to any role except crane driving which is highly specialised.  The agreement requires that when the P24 crew are found to be virtually working full time for prolonged periods – a number are ungraded to full time – this avoids the company misusing these roles by leaving them part time when they are really full time workers).  The number of P24 workers is agreed to be no more than 27.5% of the total workforce to protect full time work.
  • Casuals – the agreement provides for up to 25% of workers to be employed as casuals.  These casual workers are employed shift by shift and the only requirement is that the shift be at least 8 hours minimum.  These positions give the Port huge flexibility as there is no guarantee of work at all. They are not however to be used to drive cranes and permanent workers get priorities for up to 2 or 3 extra shifts per week before the work is offered to casual workers.
The current agreement is therefore designed to provide a mix of good, stable, reliable work but also meet the needs of a Port where ships are unpredictable.

The rest of the current agreement is very simple with flat rates of pay being set out in recognition of the 24/7 nature of work, and these rates applying in most working situations.

Read the full Maritime New Zealand press release here.