KiwiRail agrees to a two-year pay deal for 2,319 RMTU members


New Zealand-based transport operator KiwiRail has agreed a two-year pay deal with trade union The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU).

The deal, which is effective from 1 July 2018, will award 2,319 RMTU members working at KiwiRail a flat rate of higher pay across all salary bands, rather than a percentage increase.

This means that KiwiRail’s lowest-paid employees will receive the highest pay rise, which equates to around 6.9%. Employees who are in the higher pay bands will receive a lower percentage pay increase.

Peter Reidy, chief executive officer at KiwiRail, said: “This deal was negotiated within a day and with immense goodwill on both sides of the table. I commend the RMTU for initiating this innovative solution, which is not only fair but will help those who need it most.

“KiwiRail’s purpose is providing stronger connections for a better New Zealand. This deal reflects our desire to play our part and improve the standard of living of all, while lifting productivity.”

The pay deal, which was formally agreed on Monday 27 August 2018, was the result of a High Performance, High Engagement programme that KiwiRail and the RMTU have been jointly working on for the past three years. This aims to unite management and employees in order to develop frontline solutions to business issues. Reidy noted that the programme has already contributed to improvements in productivity, health and safety measures and workplace relations.

Wayne Butson, general secretary at the RMTU, said: “This is a significant pay deal for those who need it most. Personally, I’m over the moon that 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. Maybe this small chink in the capitalist armour will see a new age of fairer pay deals, less greed and a more equal society.”