Collective bargaining in the screen industry

Parties in the screen industry can bargain collectively for occupational contracts and enterprise contracts.

Occupational and enterprise contracts

Under the Screen Industry Workers Act 2022, parties can bargain collectively to set minimum terms for work done by screen production workers. Collective bargaining can happen at 2 levels: the occupational level and the enterprise level.

Collective bargaining at the occupational level produces occupational contracts. These contracts cover all work done by an occupational group in New Zealand. They set minimum terms for the occupational group.

Collective bargaining at the enterprise level produces enterprise contracts. These contracts can build on the minimum terms set in occupational contracts. They cover specified work within a production or production company. 

Bargaining for occupational contracts

Bargaining for enterprise contracts

Bargaining parties must act in good faith

Bargaining parties must act in good faith during bargaining. This means they can’t purposefully mislead or deceive each other, or do anything that is likely to do so.

In addition, they must:

  • do their best to agree on a process for conducting bargaining in an effective and efficient manner
  • meet each other from time to time for bargaining
  • consider and respond to each other’s proposals
  • continue to bargain on outstanding matters
  • recognise the authority of any bargaining representative from the opposite side
  • refrain from doing anything that is likely to undermine bargaining or the authority of other bargaining parties
  • share information necessary to support bargaining.

Once bargaining is initiated, a collective contract must be produced. 

Good faith

Industrial action is prohibited

Industrial action is not allowed. 'Industrial action' means:

  • 2 or more workers refusing to fulfil the terms of their contracts in a concerted manner
  • an engager preventing workers from carrying out their obligations under their contracts (for example, blocking access to a set)
  • an engager refusing to carry out their contractual obligations with 1 or more workers (for example, not paying workers).

It’s important to note workers still have the right to cease or refuse to carry out unsafe work under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. 

Mandatory terms for collective contracts

Collective contracts must set minimum terms for:

  • pay rates
  • entitlements to breaks (and if there is such an entitlement, their frequency, duration and timing)
  • whether and how public holidays are recognised (such as if workers are expected to work on public holidays, whether they are entitled to additional compensation and how that would be calculated)
  • hours of work
  • availability for work
  • termination of contracts
  • minimum procedural requirements for raising and responding to bullying, discrimination and harassment complaints
  • minimum procedural requirements for dispute resolution relating to individual contracts.

Other terms can be included if they are lawful and consistent with the Screen Industry Workers Act 2022. 

Disputes during collective bargaining

There are processes to help parties resolve disputes that arise during bargaining. This includes general disputes about bargaining, or disputes about what a term in a collective contract should be.

How to resolve problems

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