Decent pay for decent work wanted: survey

Sheree Carey. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Sheree Carey. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Southland's first region-wide scientific survey of decent work provides valuable information about the experience of local workers.

The survey was conducted over three months from April 2023, inviting all workers in Southland to participate and share their perspectives about employment in the region.

Participants came from a wide range of backgrounds, working in different jobs, from the largest firms to small businesses.

The Decent Work Survey was commissioned by a broad group of stakeholders, including the Southland Business Chamber, the private sector union E tū, Murihiku Regeneration, and Great South, the organisation responsible for the "Beyond 2025" Southland long-term plan.

The survey design, delivery, and data analysis were overseen by independent experts at Massey University.

Chief executive officer of the Southland Business Chamber, Sheree Carey said, "The Decent Work Survey has significant benefits for the members of the broader business community.

By understanding employee perspectives on job satisfaction, workplace culture, communication, and professional development, our members can gain valuable insights to enhance their organisations."

Ms Carey stressed the initiative aligned with their commitment to creating more engaging and satisfying work environments, ultimately contributing to a productive and positive workplace culture in Southland.

E tū national secretary, Rachel Mackintosh acknowledged that hearing the perspectives of workers was crucial.

"We know that workers have excellent insights about their own jobs that can often be overlooked.

By working with a wide group of interested parties on this survey, we have given a voice to workers across the region and ensured that their experiences can be properly taken into account for a variety of purposes, especially planning for an uncertain future", Ms Mackintosh said.

Beyond 2025 Southland project lead Bobbi Brown recognised the role of workers in the Southland economy.

"Our workforce is the lifeblood of our economy and while our unemployment rate remains very low, our employers are very focused on retaining their current staff while also attracting new people to fill vacancies.

These insights are very helpful."

Key insights from the survey were that workers felt they were doing useful and meaningful work but the majority of workers in Southland felt their pay was not enough or just enough to meet their basic living needs.

— Staff reporter