KFC supervisors paid less than the workers they train

KFC shift supervisor Tawera Paapu will strike on Saturday for better pay.
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KFC shift supervisor Tawera Paapu will strike on Saturday for better pay.

A KFC supervisor who is paid less than the cooks she trains, is disappointed the company won't put her on a living wage.

Tawera Paapu, 29, is one of about 2000 Restaurant Brands workers who are asking the company for a 30 cent pay rise over three years.

Workers from KFC, Carls Jr, Starbucks and Pizza Hut will go on strike on Saturday after pay negotiations stalled.

KFC owner Restaurant Brands would not comment on why cooks were paid more than supervisors.
MATT DUNCAN/FAIRFAX NZ

KFC owner Restaurant Brands would not comment on why cooks were paid more than supervisors.

Tawera is a shift supervisor at KFC Lincoln Road in Auckland. She's worked for the company for two years and was promoted to shift supervisor about four months ago.

READ MORE: KFC, Pizza Hut, Carls Jr, Starbucks workers go on strike

The new role meant her pay increased by 70c an hour, and if she is rostered on to run a shift she is given an additional $5 an hour for that shift.

"But if I'm not rostered on to run a shift I'm still expected to allocate breaks, help manage lines. If customers have complaints they'll still come up to me, if staff have complaints they'll still come up to me.

"I'm still expected to manage stock, make sure we don't run out of anything," she said.

"As a supervisor you're trained to do front of house, all the paperwork, and you're also trained on cooking. Whereas the cooks only know the cooking area, 90 per cent of cooks just cook day in and day out.

"I know all these things sound like little things, but they back up on top of each other.

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Cooks received a $2.50 pay allowance on top of their base rate.

"So that means they're getting roughly $1.80 more than me."

Tawera often arrives home from work and worries about what she may have forgotten to do that day.

"It's definitely stressful. It feels like I'm still working once I've left work.

"I want the shift supervisors who are on the base rate to have a living wage. We've been trained to run these stores so surely we should be able to live comfortably, and at least get paid more than the cooks," Tawera said.

Shift supervisors often train the cooks, and when the restaurant is short staffed, supervisors will step in and take on cooking responsibilities while running shift.

"I feel like this company is making millions of dollars and all the people working for it are getting overworked so surely our pay should represent the amount of work we're doing," Tawera said.

Restaurant Brands chief executive Russel Creedy would not answer questions about why cooks were paid more than shift supervisors, or why pay negotiations had stalled.

In a statement Creedy said the company had made an offer to workers that was rejected and it was disappointed workers were striking.

Tawera said a group of workers will picket outside Auckland's Belmont KFC on Saturday from noon.

 - Stuff

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