Pūnga mātauranga

Stronger Together – your role in collective bargaining

04 Oct 2022
5 min reading
Comic title tile. Text reads: Stronger Together: your role in the collective bargaining process.

This comic by Toby Morris explains how, when we join in union, we can achieve things that we’d never be able to do on our own.

Illustration one: A woman take a big breath to try to blow on a wind turbine. Text reads: Have you ever tried t move a wind turbine on your own? I wouldn't recommend it. 
Illustration two: The woman blows a big breath out. Text reads: It doesn't matter how strong, strong, experienced or confident you are - you can huff and puff all day but that thing is not going to move.
Illustration one: A woman stands, hunched over as if tired or puffed. Text reads: Seriously, it's not happening. 
Illustration two: Three other people come to stand with the other woman, and offer some support. Text reads: But when we work together, then maybe we can start getting somewhere.
A crowd of people standing below a wind turbine that is spinning quickly. Text reads: and when you take one person's energy and times it by thousands of people? That's when things start happening. That's what NZEI and the collective bargaining process is all about. Together we can make big things happen. The more people we have helping out, the more powerful we become.
Illustration one: People cheering at a moving wind turbine. Text reads: If you've recently started your career in education, this could be your first chance to take part. Your input is just as important as everybody else's. 
Illustration two: A woman stands holding up a copy of a collective agreement. Our collective agreements are where we set out the terms of our jobs. Sick leave, parental leave, allowances, career pathways, and of course, our pay.
Illustration one: A handshake. Text reads: It's the agreement betweenyou  all, as members of NZEI Te Riu Roa, and our employers. It's the deal. 
Illustration two: Each one of these deals has an expiry date when it's time to relook at it. It's when we can change, add or remove stuff. That's called collective bargaining. The collective bit? That's you. that's us.
Illustration one: A woman smiles and points towards the reader. She says: "Just like with the wind turbine, this agreement will be strongest if we have input and support from as many people as possible. It's your deal, for your job - so we need your input!"
Illustration two: A group of people stand facing the reader. Text reads: "Do here's how it works. Several of your colleagues will form the 'bargaining team' - they'll sit doen with our employer and negotiate on our behalf.
Illustration one: A series of heads with arrows showing the connection from a central group to the surrounding heads. Text reads: But they need your input and support to know what matters to you, and to know how to proceed. So here's how you can help. 
Illustration two: Alice, an ECE Teacher, says: "Join! You have to be a member of NZEI Te Riu Roa to take part and be guaranteed the conditions of the new collective agreement."
Illustration one: Willie, a kindergarten teacher, says: "Attend! Come to union meetings. Get the latest updates, and have your say. 
Illustration two: Sarah, a primary teacher, says: "Reflect! Have a good think. what does the deal mean for you and your colleagues, both now and in the future?
Illustration one: Julia, a kindergarten teacher, says "Discuss! talk about it with your workmates. Ask questions. Share your views. (like educators need encouragement to talk!)"
Illustration two: Adam, a primary teacher, says: "Feedback! let the bargaining team know what you're thinking and help support them."
Illustration one: One character in foreground called Ida, a support staff member. She says: Vote! At all stages of bargaining, nothing happens without your vote. be there to make it count. Another figure stands in the background holding a voting paper. 
Illustration two: A group stand in the background, and the foremost person says:  Remember: there is strength in numbers. ore people getting involved means a stronger, clearer position that will better reflect what you need.
Illustration one: a small group of people looking up at a rapidly spinning wind turbine. Text reads: We're stronger together. Just look at that thing go! We've got some serious energy.
Illustration two: a group of people walking together in a group. Text reads: And that's just the start. Imagine, as we lead and advocate for education, where else that energy can take us.