Why do the Unions have so much sway over Labour?

The Unions have a reputation for controlling Labour, and with some good reason. Six affiliated unions get 20% of the Labour Leadership vote, so you would think that they are also the Labour Party’s biggest donors.

The problem with this is it is not supported by the facts. Since 1996 union donations have been a little over 11% of Labour’s total declarable donations.

In most years the unions don’t give anything to Labour, who must only ask unions for money in election year.

Total Donations Union Donations Union Donation %
1996  $65,327.00  $- 0%
1997  $280,000.00  $- 0%
1998  $20,055.90  $- 0%
1999  $1,115,375.00  $80,000.00 7.17%
2000  $35,000.00  $- 0.0%
2001  $107,525.00  $- 0.0%
2002  $671,719.00  $70,000.00 10.42%
2003  $54,000.00  $- 0.0%
2004  $369,951.00  $- 0.0%
2005  $930,977.04  $140,000.00 15.04%
2006  $140,988.04  $20,000.00 14.19%
2007  $1,030,446.39  $- 0.0%
2008  $422,917.00  $117,500.00 27.78%
2009  $10,063.00  $- 0.0%
2010  $56,720.00  $- 0.0%
2011  $225,200.00  $105,200.00 46.71%
2012  $430,259.33  $- 0.0%
2013  $-  $-
2014  $251,000.00  $162,000.00 64.54%
Total  $6,217,523.70  $694,700.00 11.17%

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If only Simon Bridges could boast of a record like Scott Walker’s

Simon Bridges is touted as a future leader of the National party. But what are his credentials?

At the moment it appears that his sole qualification is that he looks charming.

If, however he could match Scott Walker’s achievements, especially in destroying unions, then he might have a chance.

The source of Walker’s appeal—his singular calling card, in fact—is not hard to identify. In 2011, the governor signed legislation stripping most of Wisconsin’s public-sector unions of their rights to collective bargaining and to require dues from members, essentially busting those unions. He went on to survive a bitter 2012 recall effort backed by national unions and to win reelection in 2014 in a state Barack Obama won in 2012. He then signed “right-to-work” legislation that massively undercut the state’s dwindling private-sector unions, too. In his twenty-minute CPAC speech, Walker referred to his battles with labor six times directly and as many times indirectly. It is the core of his message.

Scott Walker has been extremely successful at union busting.

In his CPAC speech and subsequent ones, Walker likened his clash with Wisconsin’s public-sector unions to Ronald Reagan’s 1981 firing of 11,000 striking air traffic controllers, thus presenting himself as a rightful heir of the party’s patron saint. He extended that connection to foreign policy. A few days after his CPAC speech, Walker told a Palm Beach Club for Growth audience that Reagan’s firing of the controllers was “the most significant foreign policy decision of my lifetime” because “it sent a message around the world [that] we weren’t to be messed with.” Walker’s similar toughness under fire with the unions, in other words, makes him ready to be commander in chief. “If I can take on 100,000 protesters,” he told the crowd at CPAC, “I can do the same across the world.” The mainstream press treated such comparisons as bumbling efforts to cover the fact that, as a governor and former county executive, he has scant foreign policy experience. But conservative audiences loved the show of resolution. Walker wants tough strength to be his calling card; his campaign book is called, not coincidentally, Unintimidated.

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Good move by the seppos, perhaps we could do the same here

The Supreme Court of the United States is looking at whether compulsory collection of union dues is against the First Amendment of the Constitution.

On Friday the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case next term that could wipe out public-sector unions. These unions require all public employees in a certain profession to pay fees associated with nonpolitical union representation, like collective bargaining. Now 10 California teachers, along with the Christian Educators Association International, are suing to halt the collection of these fees. They believe that mandatory union payments constitute compelled political speech in violation of the First Amendment.

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Will the MSM ever look into Andrew Little’s record? Ctd

In 2011 Andrew Little swapped his job at the EPMU and as Labour Party President for a List MP slot.

Until then he had been the leading light at the EPMU since the late 90s, and claimed credit for its success.

The EPMU’s success did not include successfully filing accounts on time or correctly.

Some had to be refiled, and there are big questions about the stewardship of the EPMU during Little’s tenure.

We have asked a series of questions in previous posts about the EPMU’s financial records. Read more »


The Uber-Union is coming

Two of Labour’s strongest affiliate unions are joining together to create a super union…well a bigger union than the hollow shells they are now.

What is funny is watching left-wingers use the same justifications for the super-city to create their Uber-union

The old adage of strength in numbers is the main driver behind the proposed merger between two of New Zealand’s larger unions.

In July, the potential combination of the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) with the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) will be put to the vote at a national conference and if it gets the thumbs up there, the memberships of both groups will then get to have their say.

The merger could result in a more than 50,000 strong union being established, which would make it the second biggest group behind the Council of Trade Unions. The current membership of the SFWU is about 21,000, while the EPMU numbers sit around 32,000.

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Comment of the Day

From George:

Comment to Angela Roberts, President PPTA:
Your response to Whaleoil is no more than political rhetoric.

It appears that you and the PPTA are engaging in “patch” preservation.

You are appointed to support your members in their endeavour to educate the children of parents who have chosen the state option.

It is not your directive to humiliate parents and teachers who don’t share your values.

They have the ability to make responsible choices unlike your insistence that discretion should be eliminated from education. Charter education will succeed or perish as a result of its performance. The negativity you generate will not determine this.  Read more »

Will the MSM ever look into Andrew Little’s record, Ctd


Last week we highlighted Labour Leader Andrew Little’s tenure at the EPMU and potential problems with the EPMU’s financial records. We suggested that the MSM were interested in trivial things like pony tail pulling, but not in detailed research about Andrew Little’s past.

There were seven questions we asked about the EPMU and the Engineering Training and Education Foundation and a missing $6m.

These questions should be put to Andrew Little, because if someone cannot manage a union’s finances properly it is hard to imagine them being able to run a nation’s finances properly.   Read more »

The PPTA responds

On Sunday I sent the following e-mail to Angela Roberts who is the President of the NZ Post Primary Teachers’ Association.

Hello Angela,

I write for Whaleoil Media on the Blog www.whaleoil.co.nz

Today we have posted this article

The article is about a student teacher being refused access to work experience in a school because he is employed by a Charter School. I have recently completed an investigative series of articles on Charter Schools after visiting three of them in Auckland.

Before I write an article in response to today’s piece which was written by Cameron Slater I would like to offer the PPTA the opportunity to explain their side of the story. I will post your response UNEDITED on the Blog.

If you would like to give us your reasoning and justifications please send your reply to this e-mail. Alternatively if you are open to answering a few questions and sending your answers to us please let me know. I will then ask our readership for the questions they want me to put to you.

Kind regards


Angela replied and provided a statement which I have provided unedited below. I appreciate Angela’s prompt response and willingness to give us the PPTA’s side of the story. We welcome alternative viewpoints on the Blog.

If you are a new reader please take the time to view our moderation policy before commenting as we take moderation very seriously here.

Whaleoil will never delete comments from people who disagree based on their view of the facts of a given situation.  However, many such comments also stray into attacking the blog staff, other commenters or other people at the same time.  When such comments are removed, they perceive this as being censored for their views, and not for their behaviour.  Whaleoil encourages everyone to try out commenting with opposing views without at the same time attacking or undermining people or the blog staff, and be pleasantly surprised their comments will remain published.

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PPTA are anti-education in so many ways

You have to wonder about the ethics of the PPTA.

They are bullying a student teacher by blacklisting him because he dares to work at a charter school.

A Northland student is struggling to become a qualified teacher after being forced out of a school placement by a teachers’ union because he works at a charter school.

This is despite the Ministry of Education saying the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) had no authority to make that decision. The student, who did not want to speak publicly, now faces an uncertain future with the possibility of not finishing his studies.

The man started at Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa in Whangarei this year as a teacher. He had a bachelor’s degree and was employed on the proviso he would study towards a post-graduate diploma in teaching through Massey University. But just three days in to his first placement, at Tikipunga High School, he was asked to leave.

Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa principal Nathan Matthews said while he knew about the ban, once the student was accepted by the school he thought it would be okay.

“It hit him quite hard,” Mr Matthews said. “He felt like he was being discriminated against.”

The nation-wide ban involved PPTA members, the majority of teachers, limiting and avoiding where possible professional interactions with charter school employees. Tikipunga High School board of trustees chairwoman Veronica Turketo said the school was unaware the student worked at the charter school when it gave him the placement.

“When our members became aware of the student teacher’s employment at the charter school the PPTA position was followed,” she said.

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Good news, PPTA announces new campaign for performance pay

The PPTA has launched a new campaign promoting performance pay for their members.

They have even provided a flash video to promote it.

You’ve got to love the hickey on the girl’s neck at 1:12.

But in all seriousness this is brilliant that the PPTA has finally realised that performance based pay for teachers is the way to go.

But there are a few problems. The major problem is that the PPTA and the Ministry are so intertwined – especially through IES – and the Minister is way too afraid of controversy, so no effective confrontation will take place and very little will change for the kids.

If the kids happen to be in largely non-confrontational Maori and Pasifika families – all the more chance that they will just be run over.

Real performance pay would mean that all schools get targets set – fairly – are bulk funded – and teachers who are effective get paid plenty. Those who don’t can go into consulting or lecturing or something else other than teaching.

But their tactic with this advert seems to be dumbing down the issue of teachers’ pay to the absolute maximum. Yet they still seem confused, getting the children in the video to produce graphs which actually seem to suggest teachers’ pay should be tied to student achievement. We are all for that surely…and nice to see the PPTA embracing it.   Read more »