Chart of the Day – Wages outstripping inflation, Ctd

Yesterday I blogged about the EPMU using wages rises as a justification to jack up their wages.

Predictably The Standard leapt on my post as a justification for joining a union. Indeed just the other night Darien Fenton made a claim that joining union meant bigger pay rises than not joining. Unfortunately they are both wrong.

Average hourly earnings are currently $26.56 an hour (these are the latest stats from Statistics NZ, for the December quarter of 2011).

Five years ago they were $22.42 an hour (the December quarter of 2006).

That is an increase of 18.5%. So if EPMU members have only got a 17% increase they are behind the game.

More to the point Labour campaigned during the election that inflation was outstripping wages by a factor of four to one, as we can see from the handy graphs produced by Labour affiliate the EPMU that was a lie.

You have to also ask why the EPMU is jacking up their fees at the same time as making staff redundant and handing back leased cars?

Is it because they need to recover the tens of thousands donated to the Labour party at the last election, along with all the time, and petrol from their workers.

Perhaps they could more truthfully describe the fee increases and the Labour Levy?


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  • Jester

    Nicely played Cam……Very nice :)

  • In Vino Veritas

    if they are broke, it must have been a particularly bad year, though they propped up their dec 10 profit with gains on asset sales (wonder if they made a voluntary CGT payment?) and Dec 09 result with asset revaluations (and still made a loss). At Dec 10 they had fixed assets of $5.7m, investments of $4.6m and cash $1.6m with liabilities of only $1.8m.

    • Sarrs

      Anybody else notice there is quite a lot of information missing from those accounts? For example, the bottom of each page states that ‘the accompanying notes form part of these financial statement’ but there are no notes to accompany those poor, lonely financial statements :(
      And that there is no audit statement (even the huckery old MUNZ accounts had an audit statement)

      Their rules certainly state that an auditor must be appointed. Anybody know a paid up member of the EPMU? The rules also state that full accounts and audit statement must be made available on request to any paid up member. 

  • Sarrs

    How come they can’t interpret simple statistics? Does that not concern anyone else – I mean, no matter how you try and spin it 18.5% is always going to be bigger than 17%. 

    Not to mention the fact that, when joining a Union, not only is your average increase less than the national average (17% vs 18.5%) but when you take into account union fees you pay for said increases, you are even worse off. 

  • Euan Rt

    Stephen (from yesterdays post) come back with your ‘facts’.

    • Sarrs

      I still can’t understand why he was making those claims – it clearly stated in the article that the national average increase was 19ish%. Perhaps people like that are why WO chose to clarify with today’s post. 

  • Jester

    Just discussing it with the great unwashed over at the Strandard. It appears that you need to take out all the high income CEOs data because it is skewing the figures and pushing the hourly rate up…lol

    Fucking moonbats I tell ya.

    • SalaciousTCrumb

      Unreal Jester. Still, you can lead a commie to reason, but you can’t make him think.

      • Jester

        Mate I know! Had a real good debate and with all the proof in front of them it came down to the most damning evidence in the EMPU letter that they based their figures on 5 years data and I got a: “I actually prefer a non WO link”

        Nice people I’m sure but fucking sheep all of them.

    • Michael

      Interesting – more ignorance and lack of basic mathematical understanding – I’ve just posted the following there, perhaps something people need to consider before mouthing off about the top 1%:

      “Sorry, I’m going to ruin the party line on this using maths that an 11 year old knows about. If you go back to your days at intermediate school and remember what your maths teacher told you about averages. And recall how they said there is more than one type of average.

      You have a “mean” average – which you add all in the series together and then divide by the count of items in the series.You have a “mode” average – that is the most common number in the series. (In this context, this would be the minimum wage)And you have the “median” average – the one that is smack bang in the middle. 50% of the series is higher than that number, 50% lower of that series is less than that number. Doesn’t matter if you increase the figures at the top of the series, the median doesn’t move.
      (I’m sure some statistics major will say there is a hundred more types of average, but for the purposes of this comment I’m just sticking with the three I got taught at intermediate.)
      Guess what “average” the average wage in NZ is? Yip – MEDIAN. So it doesn’t matter what the top are getting it, bigger increases there don’t change the average.”

      • statstudent

        Michael is 100% correct in his comments

        There are several different definitions of “average” in statistics – it usually denotes the arithmetic mean, but it can also denote the median, the mode, the geometric mean, and weighted means, among other things.

        The fact that the ‘average’ is a somewhat vague term that covers many different measures of central tendency is a common observation in statistics – I suggest that you refer to web-based statistics resources posted by staff at these and other universities:
        Portsmouth UniversityStanford UniversityBerkeley UniversityUniversity of North Carolina

  • greenmuppet

    My wife works two jobs and has never been a member of any union. Can confirm she negotiated directly with her employer way over and above what SWFU negotiated for their members at her workplace. The difference was staggering. And no, it wasn’t easy. And yes, non-membership was a strong factor, however, her training, qualification and experience made all the difference.  There is truth in this story.

  • Owl

    The EMPU have made $2m in losses over the last 5 years. ….. What does that tell about the people who keep telling employers that they don’t know what they are doing.

  • Jester

    Hats off to a guy over at the standard called McFlock. At least he had the courtesy to listen to reason. As for the rest, geez where do you start…

  • The thing that you have ignored is that many of the union members aren’t worth as much as they are getting, so for them it is worth it.