Better protections for bus drivers in AotearoaI am a FIRST Union delegate and bus driver at NZ Bus, and I am launching this petition calling for three important protections for bus drivers at work following a spate of violent attacks by passengers around the country, including being assaulted myself this month at while work in Auckland. I am a trained health and safety representative, and recently I previously issued my employer with a Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) following increasing assaults on his colleagues. The risk of assault by passengers seems to have increased in recent years, especially during and immediately after the Covid-19 pandemic. My fellow bus drivers have been physically harmed, subjected to racist abuse and just about everything else you can possibly think of going wrong involving passengers. Driving a bus is about much more than just driving the vehicle. Drivers in other transport jobs like freight and logistics don’t have the added stress and responsibility of making sure passengers are safe and on time to their locations, and they don’t have to deal with the consequences of antisocial behaviour and fare evasion. Other transport workers often paid much more than us bus drivers are. Bus drivers are not punching bags. We are not a person to take out your frustration on or to blame for wider grievances about public transport in your city. We are having to take leave from work, lose income, attend hearings and deal with police over the assaults that happen to us on a weekly or even daily basis, and it is not good enough. We bus drivers are sick of doing their best for passengers and being verbally, racially and physically attacked for it. All bus drivers deserve to feel safe on the job, and feel respected at our place of work. After all, we're carrying the most precious cargo — the people of our community.1,365 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by FIRST Union
People Must Be PaidWe are all doing our bit to help eliminate the latest COVID outbreak in New Zealand. While some of us may be essential workers, most of us will be off work, staying at home as required by the Government. The Government will again spend billions of dollars on wage subsidies for employers to help pay our wages while we stay home to break the chain of transmission. This is the right thing to do – but it also means that employers should deliver on their responsibilities too. But some employers aren’t applying for the subsidy. They are just asking their workers to stay at home without pay. They are refusing to pay employees who are required to stay at home due to the lockdown, or if they are immune compromised. That’s not right – and we are asking the government to make sure that they are enforcing the law as quickly and rigorously as possible. The union movement is calling on the Government to make sure that all workers are getting paid during the lockdown, regardless of whether their company decides to apply for, or is eligible for, the wage subsidy. It’s the law. Employees shouldn’t have to wait months for pay or have to take their employer to court for the money they are owed. We ask you to sign this petition to call on the Government to ensure that all companies pay their workers during the lockdown. All workers should get the pay they are owed so that they can look after their families and whanau. Sign the campaign today. This is a campaign led in partnership by First Union, E tū and Unite Union. https://www.digitalwings.nz/images/Etu-Logo.jpg https://www.firstunion.org.nz/vendor/FUNZ/Assets/public/images/FUNZ/logo-white.png3,238 of 4,000 SignaturesCreated by FIRST Union .
#BusFair 🚌https://vimeo.com/596169867 Public transport is crucial in the fight against climate change, making our cities more liveable and supporting sustainable mobility for vulnerable and low-income communities. However bus drivers, passengers and the environment have been victims of a decades-long experiment in privatisation. The Climate Commission has called for a doubling of public transport use nationwide, however poverty wages are making it impossible for operators to recruit new workers. Cancellations are rife, and further industrial action looms on the horizon. The bus privatisation experiment has failed. In July 2021 FIRST Union’s #BusFair campaign called for the Ministry of Transport to abolish the current tendering model (the “PTOM”), massively increase investment in public transport, and work together with stakeholders to bring our public transport back into public ownership. That’s because three decades of bus privatisation has been disastrous for drivers, passengers, and the environment, shifting wealth from workers’ wages into offshore private equity firms that control our network. The PTOM tendering model put this approach on steroids, rewarding operators with the lowest labour costs. Significant investment is needed to lift workers’ wages, increasing the reach and regularity of our bus network, progressively reducing fares and establishing more bus-only infrastructure. However private ownership is a barrier to addressing these concerns. Support for public ownership is now growing, with Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Green Party supporting, as well as bus drivers and passengers across the country. Tell the Minister of Transport that it’s time to bring #ourpublictransport back into public ownership.1,504 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by FIRST Union .