An Observation by the Owl

NZ Post Primary Teachers Association – Observation by the Owl

The 2010 Accounts shows that the PPTA (Note 8) – Union staff have been given staff mortgages at 1% less than the average floating rate.

So here we have Union Fees paid by some extremely talented souls in the teaching fraternity which is then given to Head Office staff at favourable mortgage loan rates.

Owl’s Observation

The Owl has no problems with organisations offering staff great benefits to be part of an organisation.

As the PPTA has nearly $5m in deposits earning slightly less than the staff mortgages why doesn’t the NZPPTA offer all its union members mortgages at 1% less than the average floating rate.

The upsides are 1) the Union will get a better return on investment and 2) members get discounted mortgages.

Note: All information is available in the public domain and the Owl draws no other conclusions other than to provide an observation.


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  • Mediaan

    I like Owl’s work, but have bits I disagree with.

    One, I have problems with staff getting freebies of this magnitude. Logically it would prevent them falling out with their employer if, for example whistle-blowing if they noticed corrupt practices.

    Two, setting up in business to compete with banks on mortgages, they would lose money for their members, not make money, because there are skills and nuances in lending.

    Examples. Some borrowers would default. You assume equal admin costs, but there is a smaller pool of mortgages being managed.

  • Oldaccountant

    yeah Owl is pretty good on his research – I agree with you Mediaan – cars, bonuses and other rewards are good – mortgages – will whole new ball game plus it is subject to FBT as well (I think).
    I am not sure members know that their fees are going into mortgages so that would raise a few eyebrows. I guess if they think Head Office staff are doing a great job then part of the package

  • Jocko

    …but do they in fact pay FBT on these perks otherwise applicable to staff/members elsewhere?

  • Jocko

    …but do they in fact pay FBT on these perks otherwise applicable to staff/members elsewhere?

  • AnonWgtn

    As only 31% of the houses in New Zealand have Mortgages I suggest that it is widely accepted that Teachers have a considerable number of rental properties, that this is why there is an advantage.

  • Guesta

    AnonWgtn – I dont understand what you are saying. what has 31% have got to do with this. Union staff get cheap mortgages by using members funds 

  • Johnbronkhorst

    So Owl…you have found evidence, of what we all already knew….That unions are run on the appathy of the membership on the behest of and for the benefit of, not the membership, but the executive and head office….Congrats and I hope you can expose more of this corruption in the future…A trades union, is spposed to be a UNION of the members, for the benefit of ALL the members. I still believe tha the way to union executive accountability is to make the payment of dues at source (ie the employer pays it out of wages) optional, force workers to pay via automatic payment from their own account, when they see the money going out, they will lose their appathy quickly!

  • Can someone tell me – should FBT apply in this type of employment benefit?

    • Phronesis

      I would guess not, as the loan will be made “on demand” and it is difficult to establish a market value. This is quite common with closely held companies where the shareholders lend company money to themselves. Of course in this case Union employees are lending other peoples money to themselves…

    • Callum

      Generally yes it would be subject to FBT, however may fall below the threshold for returning. 1% of $50k (as at 2009) is only a $500 benefit.

  • jay cee

    perhaps someone should report this teacher union to hekia parata. oh wait, on second thoughts………..

  • Guest

    Well done Owl…you are the only one that ever puts numbers and facts together..when it’s is a subjective all the left take aim and write on here. When you do facts they never do unless they want to stop the facts getting out. Wasn’t it amazing when Andrew little had to Facebook to defend union leaders salaries on 45k pay increases and all he could do say employers were parasites. Now owl has shown that the unions leaders are using union fees to pay their house loans.
    Hats off to you owl Kate gains ford responds from the pita and union members ask questions!

  • Guest

    When will someone revisit the investigation Ian Wishart did into SFWU prior to the 2005 election?

    Plenty of major Liabour party players were up to their necks in very dodgy behaviour  – that went right to the top of the party. No wonder Aunty Helen & H2 scarpered.