COVID-19 and Your Work Rights

Source: CTU, 29 March 2020

The Council of Trade Unions has today launched an online tool for working Kiwis to identify employers who aren’t doing the right thing during the COVID-19 period.

CTU President Richard Wagstaff is concerned that some employers are not following the law; “We continue to hear really concerning reports of unacceptable behaviour by some employers. I do want to stress that the majority of employers are doing the right thing, they are looking after their employees and following the clear guidance from the government. But unfortunately this is not universally the case.”

“We want to ensure that people are able to tell their stories and log what is happening for them. Due to the number and complexity of problems that a significant number of working people are experiencing, we need to create a register so that these cases can be triaged and addressed.”

“Where we identify there are systematic breaches of employment law will we be raising these with government.”

“Employment law still needs to be adhered to – employers who breach the law need to be held to account.”

There are 6 main areas we are seeing poor behaviour from employers

  1. Dismissals/redundancies
  2. Annual leave/sick leave use
  3. Use of the “wage subsidy”
  4. Changing terms and conditions of employment
  5. Treatment of casual and other precarious working people
  6. Health and safety/essential services

“We strongly encourage anyone who has not been treated fairly to ensure that they log it with us. Together, we will identify whether there are specific employers and industries which need to be urgently communicated with,” Wagstaff said.

Click here for a full-length HD interview with CTU Secretary Melissa Ansell-Bridges as she explains the initiative and why it’s needed.

ENDS

For more information contact:

Richard Wagstaff, CTU President – 027 277 8131

Stay at home, make a video

From Monday 30 March, the Directors & Editors Guild of NZ will introduce DEGNZ Play for our members. DEGNZ Play is an initiative to help provide an outlet for your creative juices and get something of yours into production now and out into the world!

We would like you to make a 60-second video that we will upload onto our DEGNZ YouTube Channel.

Each Friday while self-isolation lasts, we will put forward a theme for the week that you can create to. The theme for the week of March 30 is BUBBLE. 

Participation is limited to DEGNZ members, but you can join as per normal or take advantage of our Membership Holiday scheme to become a member if you are suffering financial hardship.

Some suggestions for approach:

  1. This is not a competition—it’s an opportunity for self-expression—everyone’s a winner.
  2. We are not encouraging mini-Hollywood studio productions. Simple is better, but if you really feel the need…
  3. Please refrain from being explict in content or language. We’d like members to be able to share it with their families. We do reserve the right not to upload content to the DEGNZ channel if we feel it’s inappropriate.
  4. Keep the file size small – less than 100MBs if you can.
  5. No longer than 60-seconds.

To submit a video

Please send it via WeTransfer to admin@degnz.co.nz with your name, the week’s theme, your video’s title and your city/town in the message. The deadline for each week to get videos in is 5PM on the Friday. So for example, the deadline for Week 1 is Friday 3 April, 5PM.

We look forward to seeing your work. Be a part of DEGNZ Play!

The DEGNZ team

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

26 March 2020

For those directors, editors and assisitant editors experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 crisis, the Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand (DEGNZ) has instituted a COVID-19 Membership Holiday for those who cannot afford to pay membership fees at this time.

“DEGNZ represents the creative, cultural and financial wellbeing of ALL New Zealand directors, editors and assistant editors,” said DEGNZ Executive Director Tui Ruwhiu.

“The Board wanted to offer a centre for support, assistance, advice and information at this crucial time and as we navigate the future, for members and non-members.”

DEGNZ’s Membership Holiday is available to all New Zealand directors, editors and assistant editors who cannot afford membership fees. It provides a fee waiver on Associate Membership to DEGNZ, effective until 1 October 2020.

Current members who are due to renew their membership will receive instructions in their renewal notices on how to take up the Membership Holiday if they are facing financial difficulties. New members and those whose membership lapsed prior to 2019 can join on the DEGNZ website and choose either a paid membership or the Membership Holiday offer.

DEGNZ is moving a number of its professional development initiatives online during national self-isolation and restrictions on public gatherings in New Zealand, which members will be able to apply for and engage with. The Guild is also planning new initiatives to assist with mental health and wellbeing that it hopes to implement shortly to help in the self-isolation period and beyond.

“Now more than ever it’s important for everyone in the screen sector to band together and show support for each other,” Ruwhiu added. “Every guild and association is doing its utmost to overcome the challenges that COVID-19 has presented us, and we in turn need the support of every individual in the industry to get it back into production as soon as possible.”

 

For further information contact:

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director
Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand
tui@degnz.co.nz
+64 21 659 950

 

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is a not-for-profit Incorporated Society and Union that represents Directors, Editors and Assistant Editors in the New Zealand screen industry. This includes Directors, Editors and Assistant Editors of feature drama and documentary; television drama, documentary and factual programmes; short films; video art; animation; commercials and web content.

DEGNZ’s two primary roles are advocacy and professional development. We:

  • are dedicated to promoting excellence in the arts of directing and editing.
  • foster collegiality and unity within the screen industry.
  • promote members’ creative and economic rights.
  • work to improve industry working conditions and remuneration.
  • offer professional advice and information on contracts and industry standards and practice.
  • offer professional development events, networking opportunities, career advice, dispute resolution, mentoring, workshops, training, discounts and regular news bulletins for members across all levels of expertise, from novices to seasoned professionals.
  • are a voice for Directors, Editors and Assistant in influencing policy in the interest of our members. We do this through our membership of various pan-industry bodies, and by making submissions to government and public officials.
  • Internationally work co-operatively with other guilds and we belong to the International Affiliation of English-Speaking Directors’ Organisations (IEASDO).

DEGNZ is Auckland-based with an office in Grey Lynn.

Contact Details:

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ
Level 2, 66 Surrey Crescent
Grey Lynn
PO Box 47294, Ponsonby
AUCKLAND
admin@degnz.co.nz
+64 9 360 2102
+64 21 659 950

COVID-19 Action Group logo

Anyone who works in events, entertainment, tourism, hospitality and any other industry who has seen their work dry up overnight, you are eligible for a 12 week COVID-19 wage subsidy, as of March 23.

Applications are only open for the next 12 weeks.

Payments are being expedited and should be made within 5 days of application.

Scroll down on the Screen Industry website here for the link to apply.

COVID-19 Action Group logo

MEDIA RELEASE
MONDAY 23 MARCH 2020
For Immediate Release

In response to the immediate impact of COVID-19 on the New Zealand screen industry, the sector has today announced the formation of the Screen Sector COVID-19 Action Group and a screen-specific online information hub.

While the indeterminate hiatus of a number of large international line productions has already resulted in job losses, many essential New Zealand productions continue to strive to keep cast and crew safe at work, whilst ensuring their productions remain operational.

Now, more than ever, the screen industry needs to work cohesively for the benefit of the sector at large. While progress continues on the Screen Sector Strategy 2030, the Strategy Facilitation Group has acted quickly to establish the Screen Sector COVID-19 Action Group to address the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry. This pan-sector team comprises many key screen industry guilds and organisations, as well as major stakeholders.

The www.screenindustrynz.co.nz website will act as a one-stop hub to assist screen producers and industry workers find screen-specific health and safety resources, wage and earning subsidy assistance and information, key updates on COVID-19 as well as relevant news and updates from screen guilds and industry organisations.

Currently, the key focus for the wider industry is the health and safety of those working on domestic productions and it is vital that all productions in New Zealand adhere to Government advisories and safety measures. Currently, the key focus for the wider industry is the health and safety of those working on domestic productions and it is vital that all productions in New Zealand adhere to Government advisories and safety measures. ScreenSafe, the industry’s health and safety advocacy group, has added two documents on the website, Covid-19 Health & Safety Policy and Covid-19 Contact Declaration Form*.  These documents are intended to give production companies and heads of departments guidance and forms to manage COVID-19 on a working production.

The local screen industry eco-system right now is very fragile, and the Screen Sector COVID-19 Action Group recognises the importance of keeping domestic productions operational where possible, or ready to gear back up as quickly as possible should an increase in New Zealand’s COVID-19 Alert level necessitate work stoppages.

The other key priority for the Screen Sector COVID-19 Action Group during this initial phase of the COVID-19 crisis is working closely with key stakeholders, including funding bodies and financiers, to explore the various ways in which the domestic screen production industry can be supported in order to continue working safely during these uncertain times.

Beyond this acute response, the Screen Sector COVID-19 Action Group will also be looking at funding mechanisms and networks to facilitate training and development opportunities for affected businesses as well as individual crew members, performers, writers and directors.

These unprecedented times call for calm and proactive decision-making in order to protect the local screen sector and to ensure that when recovery happens – and it will – the industry is ready to operate at maximum capacity again for our domestic productions and so that international line productions can return as soon as it is viable.

www.screenindustrynz.co.nz

 

* ends *

 

*Documents created with thanks by Health & Safety Officer Robert ‘Gibbo’ Gibson and Producer Rebekah ‘Bex’ Kelly.

 

About the Screen Sector COVID-19 Action Group

Established in mid-March 2020 by the Screen Sector Strategy 2030 Facilitation Group, the Screen Sector COVID-19 Action Group is a pan-sector team, made up of representatives from many key industry guilds and organisations, as well as major stakeholders.

While the work of finalising the Screen Sector Strategy 2030 continues, the Screen Sector Facilitation Group felt it was essential to urgently establish a working group to address the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Screen Sector and to ensure that when recovery happens – and it will – we are all ready to gear back up and get the screen industry in Aotearoa humming again.

A key finding of the Screen Sector Strategy 2030 is the desire for a pan-sector unified voice and while that pan sector body is some time away still, it is evident that now, more than ever, our industry needs to work cohesively and it is with that in mind that this working group has been formed.

The group’s members and stakeholders are as follows:

Screen Sector COVID-19 Action Group – Members

Alice Shearman New Zealand Writers Guild
Brian Finn Weta Group
Felicity Letcher Main Reactor
Grant Baker Auckland Screen Alliance / Film Auckland / Images & Sound
Hineani Melbourne Ngā Aho Whakaari
Kelly Lucas Screen Industry Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand
Matthew Metcalfe General Film Corporation
Patricia Watson WIFT NZ (Women in Film and Television)
Peter Clews NZ Advertising Producers Group
Richard Fletcher SPADA / Libertine Pictures
Sally Campbell South Pacific Pictures
Sandy Gildea SPADA (Screen Production & Development Association)
Sioux Macdonald Screen Industry Guild of NZ / Filmcrews
Tui Ruwhiu Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

Screen Sector COVID-19 Action Group – Stakeholders

Domestic and international screen producers & productions

Government ministries:

Screen funding bodies:

Regional economic development agencies:

Regional Film Offices of New Zealand

 

 

 

Media enquiries, please contact:

Tamar Münch | The Public Good

P: 021 659 349 | E: tamar@thepublicgood.co.nz