A major milestone has been achieved in the Cook Islands with the enactment in mid-December 2012 of the Cook Islands Employment Relations Act 2012. This milestone legislation affects both public and private sector employees and offers stronger clauses on the: Freedom of Association rights for employees and employers; collective agreements and individual agreements; discrimination, sexual and racial harassments and duress; termination and redundancy; dispute resolution process and government-funded paid maternity leave based on the minimum wage of 6 weeks for women in the private sector. (Public secor workers are already covered).
The Cook Islands Workers' Association managed to secure funding through the PSI Asia Pacific Fund to implement wider community consultation on the Bill before its enactment. This great achievement brings the CIWA National Executive to another level of legislation awareness to its members on the mainland Rarotonga and in the outer islands.
The Cook Islands Workers Association President Mr Anthony Turua, its National Executive and members extended their appreciation and gratitude to PSI for support in providing funding for achieving the enactment of this new legislation, with special thanks to PSI Oceania Sub-regional Office for providing advice over the years, and to all affiliates in the region.