Unions

Has anyone in media questioned Labour’s links with union interests?

The Media party is trying to create the impression of murk by linking the fishing industry with National. All based off of the back of the fact that Peter Goodfellow is a director of Sanfords.

National Party president Peter Goodfellow leaves the National caucus room during any discussion about the fishing industry to avoid any conflict of interest, Prime Minister John Key says.

Mr Goodfellow has significant interests in fishing company Sanfords, which holds about a quarter of the total fishing quota in New Zealand.

Mr Key was asked about National’s closeness to the commercial fishing industry today after a contract to monitor the commercial fleet was awarded to a business whose general partner was owned by fishing companies – one of which is Sanfords.

Speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference, the Prime Minister said Mr Goodfellow was “immensely careful about managing any conflict of interest”.   Read more »

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Hooton on the bumbling, fumbling, hapless Labour party

Matthew Hooton looks at the pressure on Andrew Little to move Labour to the left.

It has all the hallmarks of Matt McCarten blabbing to his mates trying to duck the blame for Andrew Little’s hapless bumbling.

The most common description of struggling Labour leader Andrew Little’s big Budget 2016 speech was that it delivered “mixed messages.” That was the kindly conclusion of reporters as diverse as TVNZ’s Katie Bradford and the Herald’s Claire Trevett.  It raises the question of how an opposition leader could have allowed himself to present such a mishmash of contradictory slogans.

In the speech, Mr Little declared Labour had a “positive plan” for “middle New Zealand” to achieve the “Kiwi dream.” This was defined as “a good job, a home they can call their own, a good school to send their kids to, healthcare if they get sick” and a “decent chance to get ahead … if they put the effort in.”

So far, so good: Elections are decided by the median voter and these are words with which three-time election winners like John Key or Helen Clark would begin a big speech.

But Mr Little just couldn’t manage it beyond the opening words and what followed was more 1980s student-politics Leninism aimed to please the quad.

Mr Little spat out the names of the class enemies: the property speculators, the land bankers, the tax dodgers. Only the kulaks failed to get a mention.

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Calling your boss a rat probably won’t work in your pay negotiations

Unions are scumbags, and bully boys. They’ve taken to blockading shops, and picketing and now calling bosses rats.

You have to wonder why they want to work in a place where they consider their boss is a rat.

First Union members have picketed Porirua Pak ‘n Save, calling for pay parity with other supermarket workers.

A line of about 25 picketers stood on Parumoana St outside the store on Saturday beside a giant inflatable rodent, holding a message for owner Ivan Jones to not “be a rat”.

Organiser Richie Morris said union staff took the action after about three weeks of collective negotiation with management.

He said the average wage for staff at Porirua was $16.20, negotiated in 2014 by the union, and the offer from management would see it rise to $16.52 at the end of the proposed two year contract.

Morris said after the two years, staff would still be paid less than current rates for other union Pak ‘n Save staff at the likes of Kilbirnie’s store. He said members at Kilbirnie Pak ‘n Save were on about $17 an hour.    Read more »

Best evidence yet that Palino is doing something right

He’s managed to piss of the PSA.

The Public Service Association is urging Aucklanders not to let their mayoralty election become a race to the bottom – as another candidate pledges to cut costs and jobs.

John Palino’s election manifesto promises to cut rates by 10 per cent – and a “sinking lid” on staff numbers at the council.

Mr Palino claims these savings will amount to around $150 million a year, and will be paid for through “efficiencies” without cuts to services.

The PSA’s National Secretary Glenn Barclay says Mr Palino’s promises don’t add up.

“Auckland is our biggest city and it’s growing all the time.

“We cannot see how Mr Palino can deliver these so-called efficiencies without the quality of services deteriorating substantially.

Perhaps they should read his book and open their blinkered self-serving eyes. Read more »

Andrew Dickens refuses to follow the NZME party line: parents are to blame

Andrew Dickens recognises bullshit when he sees it and he’s recognised that it isn’t the government’s fault there have only been moderate increases in results from National Standards.

He’s even called out the union shills like Kirsty Johnson. He has gone up considerably in my opinion, admittedly from a rather low base.

Having pulled the housing issue apart over the past weeks my colleagues at NZME have now turned their attention to education.

The headlines all yesterday morning was that a quarter of our children starting secondary school are below the National Standards introduced by National in 2008.

This despite an investment of $250m extra by the Government to lift literacy and numeracy.

Cue Talkback. Teachers are all Marxists. NCEA is crap. Nobody rote learns any more. All anyone cares about is participation not success and winning. It’s PC gone mad. Kids can’t climb trees and it’s all social engineering. Blah blah blah blah.

There’s an awful lot of smoke and mirrors here.

Yes an extra quarter billion has been invested. But remember our population has swelled by 500,000 people in the last decade so that money was needed just to keep pace. When politicians say they’re spending more on health and education remember that they have to because there are more of us.

They’re playing politics. That’s because they’re politicians.

As an aside when was the last new hospital built in this country, which, by the way, is 20 per cent bigger than 10 years ago?

So the figure says we’ve flatlined. In other words the problems we have in education are exactly the same as the problems we’ve always had. We’re no better or worse than we’ve ever been.

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Unions reflect on their loss of power

[Yesterday was] International Workers’ Day, celebrating the labour movement and the eight-hour day.

The day is a public holiday in many countries.

New Zealand has its own Labour Day holiday in October, marking the anniversary of this country adopting an eight-hour working day.

However, many organisations still celebrate solidarity between workers on what is colloquially known as May Day.

Council of Trade Unions economist Bill Rosenberg said people’s working conditions in New Zealand were not improving.

“There’s no effective protection in the law and for many people, if they do work long hours, there’s no recognition in higher rates of pay or overtime pay,” he said.

Something salaried people have been used to for a long time. And lots of self-employed people also know that the extra hours don’t always translate into extra money. Somehow, “workers” expect more.   Read more »

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What does the NZEI collective agreement say about protecting kids?

With kiddy fiddling teachers being all the rage in the media these days, and the absolute failure of schools and the Ministry of Education to address the issue of pedophiles in education, we decided to have a look at the Collective Agreement for Primary School Teachers, as negotiated between NZEI and the Ministry of Education.

Here are some general notes:

1. ‘Serious Misconduct’ is mentioned only in two chapters and less than five lines (the agreement is 97 pages). It is also never defined. The only serious treatment of it is in clause 10.6:

 Nothing in clauses 10.2, 10.3, 10.4 or 10.5 prevents instant dismissal without notice in the case of serious misconduct.

It is standard in almost every private sector contract to include a definition so as to avoid dispute. If this then is standard, who decided it should be left out? Who has what to hide and who benefits?

2. The Collective Agreement blurs the lines on reporting to the Teachers Council (now the Education Council).

Many complaints will be able to be resolved by discussion between the principal and the employee concerned without the need to take the matter any further.  This does not negate any statutory obligation to inform the New Zealand Teachers Council if applicable.  

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Labour should read this since they are talking about the Future of Work

Want to know why automation is replacing menial jobs?

Labour want to know…as they have their Ten Big bumper sticker slogans and attempt to find out why it is that automation is going to replace every job.

They should read the Wall Street Journal article about restaurant automation and wonder no more about why it is people are being replaced.

Consumer preferences, reduced technology costs and government policies that increase labor costs are driving a trend toward automation in the restaurant business. If you make something more convenient and less expensive, it tends to catch on.

As recently as the 1960s, gas-station employees would rush to fill your car’s tank, wash the windows, check the oil and put air in the tires. Telephone operators made your long-distance calls and bank tellers cashed your checks. Those jobs now are either gone or greatly diminished.

Today, we reduce jobs whenever we shop on Amazon instead of our local retail outlet, use an Uber app rather than calling a cab dispatcher, order a pizza online, use an airport kiosk to print boarding passes, or scan groceries. Each of these changes in behavior has increased convenience and reduced labor costs—and competitive businesses pass the savings to their customers.

In the restaurant business, the increasing impact of technology doesn’t mean that a robot will soon roll up to your table and say, “Hi, I’m Trudi4783. I’ll be your automated server today.” But technology can replace certain functions. Touch screens are already transforming the way food is ordered in many restaurants.

In late 2013, Chili’s and Applebee’s announced that they were installing more than 100,000 tableside tablets at their restaurants across the country, allowing customers to order and pay their bill without ever talking to a waiter. The companies were soon followed by Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera Bread, Olive Garden and dozens of others. This means fewer servers covering more tables. Quick-service restaurant chains are also testing touch-screen ordering.

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Jew-hating professor leaves Auckland Uni after outcry

Scott Poynting, the professor who hates Jews and whom we busted for his anti-semitism, will no longer be poisoning students at Auckland University.

A University of Auckland professor is to leave his job after an anti-Semitism row sparked by a letter to the Waikato Times.

Acclaimed hate crimes expert Professor Scott Poynting​ compared an Israeli company employing Palestinians to a German company employing Jews. The commentary rankled various groups, including the New Zealand Jewish Council and a fellow academic, who complained to the university, branding the professor’s letter to the editor as anti-Semitic.

University Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon addressed the complainants in a letter, which he detailed investigations had been undertaken. The institution had found Poynting not guilty of professional misconduct and it had been suggested to Poynting he should write a second letter to the editor of the Waikato Times clarifying he was not intending to make anti-Semitic remarks, McCutcheon said.

Poynting had refused to write a clarification, so McCutcheon apologised on behalf of the educational institution.

“… I do acknowledge that the way in which Scott Poynting expressed himself caused considerable distress to many members of the community. On behalf of the University of Auckland, I offer my own sincere apologies for that distress,” McCutcheon wrote.

However, the final line of McCutcheon’s letter saw the New Zealand Tertiary Education Union (TEU) wade into the debate.

“Professor Poynting’s employment with the University of Auckland concludes on 30 June 2016.”

It was important to note Poynting was retiring in June, as had always been the case, TEU organiser Enzo Giodani said.

The university, however, would not confirm the manner of his departure.

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The NZEI can no longer lie that they did not know…

Continuing on from my previous post, the NZ Herald has discovered that the NZEI did, in fact, know about child rapist Robert Burrett.

Robert Burrett’s spiral from principal to child rapist started when he triggered a mass exodus of pupils from a small town school, according to a new document uncovered by a Herald investigation.

During Burrett’s controversial two-year tenure as principal of Lake Rotoma School, near Rotorua, the school roll was cut by almost half, forcing the board to fire a teacher.

The roll dropped from 70 pupils to just 41, according to a 1993 report from the former board chair to the Ministry of Education.

The board report, released to the Herald under the Official Information Act, was only discovered by the ministry after the Herald asked it to check its records again on complaints against Burrett.

The document highlights how the Rotoma community, parents and teachers united to fight against Burrett before he was officially removed in 1992.

School teachers called in a union representative to help ease their tensions with the principal and at least 60 members of the Rotoma community signed a petition to force the board to sack Burrett amid allegations of poor teaching and incompetency.

The battle to force Burrett out of Rotoma put huge stress on the school, with three staff members resigning and morale “at an all time low,” the report written by former board chair Jenny Michie states.

“The board’s biggest concern at this time is the school roll, which as it stands will leave us in the unenviable position of having to drop a grade A teacher… Naturally, our two teachers [are] extremely worried about their future… as are we all,” according to the report.

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