Unions

MPs in Unions

Guest post

I find it really weird that Labour MPs join unions. Except for the extra vote they get, there are no other practical, non-political benefits to joining a union. So really it is just some grade A brown nosing.

However check out the SFWU website FAQ section. For example (bold text is my own):

Can Supervisors be union members?

While anyone has the right to be a union member – it is often up to the union concerned whether or not to accept your membership. Often union membership is linked to the collective bargaining structures within a company. For most private sector unions the question is whether the supervisor has the right to “hire and fire”. Some organisations have employees in roles called Team Leaders as well as Supervisors who are coordinators and facilitators with the team, but do not have the role of hiring and firing. There is usually no issue with such employees being members of a union on site. However this will also come back to the history and culture in that organisation. Some unions may take the approach that supervisors with the management ability to hire and fire would not be signed up. Read more »

Time to turn the clock back on some of Clark’s labour market damage

National’s employment reform is causing the usual canned complaints.  We have petitions, and threats, and bleating from the usual corners.  National is stealing the tea break, didn’t you know?

Under the change, an employer would have to provide only “reasonable compensatory measures where an employee could not reasonably be provided with breaks”. That could be met by giving equivalent time off work.

Labour launched a petition against the move that drew 10,000 signatures in 24 hours. It hoped to boost that over Labour weekend.

Labour MP Andrew Little – who highlighted the law change during his first leadership pitch to party members – said it showed this was the most “niggardly and nasty” National Government there had been. “To begrudge anyone having a cuppa or a meal break during their working day goes against the grain. It’s a Kiwi tradition. Doing away with it is mean-spirited and unfair.”

Labour’s minority report from the select committee that considered the bill described it as a leap back to the failed 1990s model. They said it continued “the flawed logic” that employers, who already have control of their workplaces and an implied duty of employees to obey instructions, needed more statutory powers.

Healthy workplaces allow for flexibility.  Like working through lunch so you can leave earlier that day to go do something.   Or working through lunch for 4 days to take Friday afternoon off.   This is something that any normal functioning company and its employees work out automatically.   Everyone benefits.   Read more »

Since it is Labour day, let’s slay some union myths

Rodney Hide did it yesterday in the herald on Sunday, but since it is Labour day let’s look at the myth of the 8 hour working day the unions claim as their great achievement.

[Today] is Labour Day. Once again we will endure the annual claptrap that unions are great and won for us the eight-hour day. Without unions we would be working 24/7. It’s nonsense.

The Labour Day bunk dates from the start of European settlement. Carpenter Samuel Parnell arrived at what we now call Petone aboard the Duke of Roxburgh.

The Duke was just the third migrant ship to Wellington. Parnell was newly married, 30 years old and had travelled from London in search of a better life.

He found it.

On-board was shipping agent George Hunter, who asked Parnell to build him a store. Parnell agreed but on the condition that he work only eight hours a day. Hunter wasn’t happy. Eight-hour days weren’t the custom in London, but he had little choice: there were only three carpenters in Wellington.

Hence was born the eight-hour day. The practice caught on. For more than 100 years we have celebrated the eight-hour day as a victory for trade unionism. We know it as Labour Day which, on the fourth Monday of every October, is a public holiday.

We hear every year of the union movement’s long, hard struggle. It wasn’t easy winning the eight-hour day, we are repetitively told.

Without unions, greedy employers would have us working every hour, every day.

Read more »

The correlation between success in charter schools and union opposition to them

It seems union negativity towards Charter Schools increases in proportion with the success of the model.

Now Eva’s done it; really done it.

The already-controversial Eva Moskowitz committed the one sin that can only worsen the attacks against her and bolster attempts to block her plans to expand her Success Academy charter network: Her kids killed it on the state tests.

Whereas only 35% of New York City students scored proficient in math, 94% of her students rated as proficient. Whereas only 29% of city students met English standards, 64% of her students met the standards.

At her Bed-Stuy-1 school, where 95% of the students are African American or Latino, 98% passed the math test, with 8 in 10 scoring at the advanced level.

If your first reaction is to assume that these positive test results will ease Moskowitz’s pathway for winning the extra 14 schools she’s asking to be approved at the state level, your assumption is probably wrong.

The New York charter controversies are no different from the charter controversies in Boston, L.A., and San Jose. The better the charter, the bigger the pushback.

What sounds nonsensical actually makes sense: The most successful charters pose the biggest threat to superintendents and teachers unions that fear their expansion. Nobody likes competition.

That fear explains what just played out in Massachusetts, home to the top-rated charter schools in the nation. An example of that excellence is found at Brooke Charter Schools, which operates three K-8 schools in some of the city’s highest poverty neighborhoods.

Brooke students are posting some of the highest proficiency scores in the entire state. Not surprisingly, Brooke would like to expand, adding another middle school and a new high school for their graduating middle-school students.

But last month, the Massachusetts Senate snuffed out an attempt to raise the cap on charter schools, an action Brooke needed to build those schools.

The vote wasn’t even close, as senators, prompted by superintendents and union leaders, rushed to the microphones to denounce lifting the cap.

Read more »

How long before union muscle tries to destroy the franchise industry?

The Washington Post has an article outlining how the union movement in the US is marshalling its forces to attack franchise operators.

Those slimy SFWU scumbags will want the same for New Zealand.

The franchising industry in NZ worth about $20b. Unions wanting to unionise entire franchise systems would destroy much of that value.

Learn from the US, what happens there eventually comes here.

Franchising, one of the great American business success stories, is increasingly and unfairly under attack. Lawmakers need to pay attention and ask some questions.

More than 770,000 franchise businesses operate in 100 different business categories in the U.S., including restaurants, hotels, business services, retail stores, real estate agencies and automotive centers. These businesses employ 8.5 million workers and contribute more than $494 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, or 3.1 percent of total private sector GDP.

Unfortunately, franchising is the target of a well-financed, national campaign by the Service Employees International Union. The SEIU has launched a multi-pronged assault at the local, state and national levels of government.

The SEIU wants to undermine franchise contracts so it can more easily unionize entire franchise systems. The union and its affiliates want government officials to designate entire franchise systems as a single unit rather than the collection of separate, small business owners they actually are.

The reason is simple: It is much more difficult for unions to organize employees of thousands of independent small businesses than to unionize a single, large entity.

The effort is a desperate, special-interest ploy to replenish the union’s dwindling coffers and declining private-sector membership. The policy advanced by SEIU is meritless and stands in sharp contrast to years of federal and state legal and regulatory precedent.    Read more »

Teacher Unions still whinging, time to consider de-registration

The teacher unions are never happy.

Despite a resounding majority victory, the first in the world under an MMP electoral system, the NZEI is claiming that John Key doesn’t have a mandate.

The largest teachers’ union in the country says it will continue to fight against the Government’s plans to reform the education system, despite the weekend’s historic election landslide.

In winning 48 percent of the vote, National became the first party to win an outright majority in Parliament under MMP. But New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) national secretary Paul Goulter says that doesn’t necessarily give them a mandate to implement the $359 million Investing in Educational Success (IES) scheme.

“I don’t think there could be any evidence at all to say that parents and communities and teachers in any way support it on the Monday after the election, compared to the Friday before the election. There’s just no evidence of that,” he said on Firstline this morning.

Mr Goulter says parents voted on “bread-and-butter matters”, not individual policies.

Under IES, expert teachers will get up to $20,000 extra pay, and principals up to $40,000. The catch is they would have to spend time away from their usual school to help out others the Government deems are struggling.
In August, 93 percent of NZEI members who took part in a vote on IES rejected it. Three-quarters wanted it dumped altogether, with the rest wanting it retooled.

Mr Goulter says the Government might have a mandate to push ahead with IES if it supplied evidence that it will actually improve educational outcomes.

“The evidence that they’ve bowled up so far is quite frankly pathetic,” he says. “As far as we’re concerned, things like mandates have to be subject to evidence and bringing parents and communities along, and that hasn’t happened.”

Read more »

Unions: It wasn’t David’s fault, we back Cunliffe

The cognitive dissonance of the left continues with two union leaders on Radio New Zealand professing undying love for David Cunliffe.

They both think that poor old David Cunliffe was hard done by.

These guys are so out of touch it isn’t funny.

There seems to be this continuing narrative that Labour should have gone further to the left.

Have they not noticed that 75% of people didn’t vote for labour and David Cunliffe. Read more »

Should SFWU spending be included in Labour’s election spending [UPDATED]

A good case could be made that the Service & Food Workers Union election spending should be added to Labour’s.

Not only is the SFWU a large donor of Labour’s but they are also spending up large in their own right campaigning on behalf of Labour.

No problems with advocating to change the government, but to also advocate for voting Labour is probably well past the guidelines of the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Act.

A complain could also be made about the accuracy of their claims.

This is the poster they are plastering everywhere and my tipster sent this in from the Hutt Hospital.

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Read more »

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Parents not the Village Idiots Labour/Unions think they are

Labour and the teacher unions spend their whole time treating the parents of school age children like they have IQs lower than a jam sandwich.

Examples are ignoring the benefits of National Standards (they are going to ban them of course), telling families in challenges areas that they don’t want Charter Schools (they are going to ban them of course), telling parents they will save $100 on donations – while charging them $3.50 a week for a “device”, etc.

Parents have clearly also seen through the – slap a few more teachers in the classroom (wherever they come from) and she’ll be right approach too.

New Zealanders would rather money was spent on improving teaching standards than on reducing class sizes, a Herald-DigiPoll survey reveals.

Education has become a political battleground before September’s election, with both major parties promising to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on it.

Asked about their priorities, more than 60 per cent of those polled said they would spend money on trying to improve teaching standards rather than cutting class sizes.  Read more »

Couldn’t Labour find a NZ classroom for their photos?

The NZEI are staunch supporters of the Labour party, even helping them write their education policy.

You would think that Labour would have been easily able to source a Kiwi classroom image for their election messaging wouldn’t you?

Here is David Cunliffe pushing his lie about removing school fees.

The background photo isn’t from a Kiwi classroom.   Read more »