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Mondayising win!

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, March 12th, 2013 - 40 comments
Categories: economy, employment, labour - Tags: , , , ,

A nice win for Labour and an all too rare example of MMP working as it should. News today

Mondayising bill expected to pass into law

Mondayising Anzac Day and Waitangi Day is all but a reality after Prime Minister John Key confirmed this morning that he expected a Labour MP’s bill on the matter to pass into law and ruled out using the Government veto on it.

Labour MP David Clark’s members’ bill to allow a day off on a Monday if the two public holidays fall on the weekend is expected to get its second reading in Parliament on Wednesday.

National does not support the bill, claiming it will put too much load on businesses and would detract from the significance of the dates. However, Mr Clark has secured the support of the Maori Party ad United Future as well as Opposition Parties – giving it just enough support to pass without Government support.

Well done David Clark, and well done MP and UF for being prepared to step out from under National’s skirts once and a while (albeit on an issue which is pretty universally popular).

[Key] said it was highly unusual for an Opposition member’s bill to pass without the support of the main governing party, but it would be “disingenuous” for National to start supporting it at this stage. ….

He said it was a marginal call whether the Government could have invoked its veto on the bill – it is allowed to block legislation that has an adverse fiscal impact, as it intended to do with Sue Moroney’s bill to increase paid parental leave.

There would have been no up-side for the Nats if they had tried to block the bill, swallowing this minor rat was really the only option. So, good news for Clark (who is starting to attract a bit of attention for himself) and a good win for Labour and for MMP.

40 comments on “Mondayising win!”

  1. Saccharomyces 1

    I don’t really like this, not for any business reasons – hell, I stand to win by getting more days off. I just feel that those days are holidays to enable observation of the event in the correct manner, not just to score a day off. Accordingly, to me, if it falls on a weekend I’m free to observe it anyway, so I don’t really need a day off for it.

    I suppose though, it’s not really a big deal that it’ll go through either, but I sort of feel it’s reducing the days from being something important, to “just another holiday”.

    • One Tāne Huna 1.1

      I feel a bit uncomfortable about ANZAC day – I wonder if there will still be dawn ceremonies on the 25th despite the Mondayisation.

      • Ben Clark 1.1.1

        do you celebrate Christmas on the nearest monday when it falls at the weekend? I’m certain the dawn ceremonies will continue on the 25th.

        no brainer to me…

      • Saccharomyces 1.1.2

        I think that the dawn services will still be strong, the whole thing seems to be gathering pace, more and more people up at the cenotaph each year.

        As for Waitangi day, well that’s a different story, I’m not sure it means much to most people.

        • Murray Olsen

          Waitangi Day means a lot more to me than Anzac Day, and to most people I know except for my right wing brother. Waitangi Day is about the birth of our nation and gave us a chance to be something new. Anzac Day is about the British Empire sending the young men of our new nation to die and shows that we hadn’t taken that chance. The increasing worship of things military, the “support the troops” arguments, and the flag flying really worry me. The increasing moves to write off Waitangi Day by such enlightened people as Paul Holmes and John Ansell, and the wider resonance their calls have, is also extremely worrying.

          • millsy

            “he increasing worship of things military, the “support the troops” arguments, and the flag flying really worry me”

            Yeah, I share the sentiment. ANZAC day seems to have moved from a day to remember to a creeping glorification of all things war/military, even if everyone denies it. I feel the same people who line up at the dawn parades are going to be the same people who are going to support our government sending troops off to the US’s latest quagmire.

            Doesn’t help that anti war types have to go burning flags at dawn parades, mind you.

          • Saccharomyces

            Fair enough. To me ANZAC day is almost completely the opposite to your take. My father was a veteran of a number of conflicts (spent 20 years as a medic in the Australian army). To me ANZAC day is more about remembering the sacrifices made by these (overwhelmingly) young men, in the service to their countries, whether right or wrong. These men died, or came back physically, mentally and spiritually scarred beyond belief all in the name of their nation. It’s a day about them, regardless of whether you think what they were involved in was right or wrong.

            To me ANZAC day, in regards to the British empire is about remembering that we SHOULDN’T get involved in conflict on behalf of another nation, regardless of tradition or historic expectation. It’s a reminder that we should do best for our nation, not appease others.

            My father came from war having seen, and experienced things that he should never have had to. He came back a broken man, who held his life together, and made a life for me and my sibling and my mother the best he could. When I was young I just didn’t get ANZAC day, it was just a day off school when dad would leave home super early and arrive home in the afternoon paralytic. As I got older I stared to realise that the gravity if the day for him, and the immense sorrow it held for him, and many of the other veterans. For them it’s about remembering fallen mates, people, like you and me.

            To me now days (since by father had passed) it’s taken on a special meaning. It’s about remembering my father, and the struggle he made daily. It’s about remembering all of those fathers, brothers, grandfathers etc, all who were innocent victims of the war machine.

            I would stress that on my opinion, it’s not about anything as base as flag waving and military worship. From what I can tell that’s not what the veterans feel either.

            I’d encourage anyone to attend a dawn service, respectfully, and with an open mind, and draw their conclusions from there.

          • Populuxe1

            Well no, regardless of whatever reasons our young men went to WW1 (naivety and a sense of adventure, or misplaced patriotism) I don’t really care, it’s about mourning their deaths and the deaths of the ‘enemy’. And actually our boys are remembered with tremendous in Italy and France – Le Quesnoy comes to mind – for their brave defense of local populations. It saddens me that you are not as enlightened and magnanimous about the situation as Ataturk:

            “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives…
            You are now living in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours…
            You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”
            Ataturk, 1934

            WW2 is entirely cut and dried to me – Germany was gutting Europe and Japan was rapidly gobbling up our neigbourhood, both in a frenzy of horrific atrocities. It is entirely appropriate to mourn those who die fighting that kind of evil.

      • millsy 1.1.3

        It’s just like Christmas — If it falls on a Sunday you open your presents, and then get the following Tuesday off (after boxing day).

        Anyway, the impact would be minimal, probably why Key is going to wave it through (he will probably take credit for the whole thing, kinda like he will with SSM)

  2. karol 2

    And any more public holidays for those of us who normally work weekends but not on Mondays?

    • karol 2.1

      Still no answer to this? So my weekend co-workers are right to be going, in response to the Bill, “meh – we’ve been ignored again?”

      • karol 2.1.1

        PS: especially as people who don’t usually work Mondays rarely get public holidays.

  3. Rogue Trooper 3

    Excellent man that David Clark

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Awesome win for Labour and for David Clark. Smart politics went into ensuring that Key couldn’t do much but back it.

    • Simeon 4.1

      Awesome win for Labour? I don’t think so. It’s a total sell out to the workers it pretends to look after.

      The only people benefiting from this are high income people. The shops will be the only thing open (does from only midday still apply on a Mondayised Andzac day?) and who is naturally be working? The lowly paid retail assistants.

      Yeah they will get penal rates but do they get a holiday?

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        Lol yeah, much worse off on penal rates rather than the regular sub-living-wage.

        Replace the tory paternalistic “look after” with a slightly more leftwing “represent”.

      • Saccharomyces 4.1.2

        Yes, midday opening still applies on ANZAC day, and they’d better not remove that IMO.

        If a worker is working their usual day then they’ll get penal rates plus a day in lieu. When I was a retail worker I used to love it when a public holiday fell on one of my rostered days, I used to try and pick up as many hours on that day as I could too, 13 hour days on public holidays were great!

    • Darien Fenton 4.2

      Still voted against the second reading though. And it’s touch and go for the next two readings with a one vote margin. Requires the Maori Party to have two out of their three MPs around, or they drop one vote – and that’s proven fatal in the past. And one Nat (I can’t remember who) spent his ten minute speech reading the diary of a WW1 soldier. Offensive : My forbears were in both wars : they came home to fight for a better life and decent work.

      • Bunji 4.2.1

        Yes, that was pretty poor from the Maori Party over the Depleted Uranium Bill – hopefully they have learnt from that… (& Hone turns up…)

        Simon O’Connor was the nasty Nat, with his offensive piece.

  5. TightyRighty 5

    Great to see the government showing the true meaning of supporting workers rights. Raising the minimum wage each year it’s in office and allowing this private members bill through to guarantee more public holidays to workers in years where the dates don’t neccessrily work properly. Whoever says national would gladly sell workers rights for an extra 1% in the bottom line of big business should take a long hard look at themselves. Sheesh, this government had done more for workers in one term than labour did in three. “Labour”

    • Rogue Trooper 5.1

      funny guy

    • Murray Olsen 5.2

      The minimum wage would have to be lowered a lot more to get to the level where you weren’t overpaid, TR.
      This government has done more to workers – sure. Labour hasn’t done much for workers for many years – also agreed. NAct has done something for workers – ha. Not likely. You’d make a sensible post before that ever happened.

      • TightyRighty 5.2.1

        So basically national have done more for workers than any recent left government. Thanks muzza. Two ticks blue in ’14 to keep on supporting workers rights.

        • fender

          Oh so the news doing the rounds is wrong?

          National will being voting yes for this, cheers for correcting Keys mistake TR.

          • TightyRighty

            National is not going exercise the governments financial veto. In effect voting for it and not looking after big business. How are those bogeyman stories you tell the kids?

            • fender

              Financial veto couldn’t be used in this case stupid.

              Kids can see the wolf wearing sheeps clothing these days, try interacting with some, in a lawful manner this time please.

    • millsy 5.3


      You really are joking right?

      Labour laws achivements between 99 and 08:

      4 weeks leave
      Time and a half for public holidays
      bigger increases in the minimum wage
      the ECA
      protection for wages and conditions when a contract changes hands

      Meanwhile your lot is making workers more and more expendable by the day.

  6. Madison 6

    I back Karol, How come everyone keeps ignoring those of us who work weekends and not Mondays? I asked Dr. Clark this and Darien Fenton basically indicated that they (Labour) were using this to score points and wouldn’t fight for this transferral of holidays to apply to all workers unless they were in power. Wouldn’t bother to fight to extend this to the workers they supposedly support. Instead it goes to fight mainly for middle class M-F office workers. Fabulous. This bill was poorly worded, not clearly thought out and works mainly to expand the gap between the middle and lower class voters, but I guess that’s just a cheap vote getting stunt for the next election. “Vote for us and we can extend this to all workers.”

    I work long and hard, but my regular week is being off Mondays and Tuesdays. That already causes enough of an issue as most M-F people simply can’t even come to comprehend that my weekend isn’t the same as theirs, now they get extra legislation to ensure as many days off each year while I miss Easter Monday, Labour Day, and Queen’s Birthday this year simply due to my regular weeks (I get a day off, but my normal day off, no extra holidays). Everyone that works M-F now is ensured their 11 each year, either in a day off or holiday pay and a day in Lieu. Glad to know I don’t count.

    • rosy 6.1

      “I get a day off, but my normal day off, no extra holidays”

      Doesn’t this rule apply for employees who usually work on the day that is a public holiday?

      If an employee works on a public holiday they are entitled to be paid time and a half for the hours they work and if it is an otherwise working day for the employee they are also entitled to another day off on pay. This alternative holiday recognises that the employee has missed out on having a day off work on a day of national significance and enables them to take a day off at another time.

      This provision includes employees working shifts and some employees on call. Both types of employees get the full day off, even if they only work for a small part of the day.

      This means you are entitled to a day off that is not part of your normal annual leave allocation, as well as penalty rates for working the holiday, doesn’t it?

      • Madison 6.1.1

        Yes, exactly. And it seems you didn’t read the reason I think this is a sham win. It pushes weekend holidays to Monday because M – F workers got shitty over missing 4 holidays every 7 years. People who have their ‘weekends’ during the traditional working week ie: my days off are Monday and Tuesday get no protection over holidays that occur on my normal days off. The three listed above are holidays that occur on my regular days off, as well as the regional anniversary day. These days don’t get ‘mondayised’ for me and I simply lose 4 Public holidays a year because they occur on my normal day off. The provision above is to cover people who are working a holiday.

        My place of employment is closed on public holidays but I don’t see all 11. Funny how Grant Robertson (who I think wrote the bill) Dr. Clark and Darien Fenton compaigned on how this was going to guarantee NZ workers all 11 public holidays a year and it doesn’t come even remotely close and completely ignores the working situations of most of the lower paid workers that Labour claim to be trying to protect. This farce of a bill is nothing but a points scoring exercise to buy more middle class votes without actually spending any money.

        • karol

          Thanks for confirming that to me Madison. It doesn’t bother me so much because I only work part time. But some colleagues I work with on weekends do 4 or 5 days a week, but not Mondays.

          There probably should be some pro rata thing for part timers who rarely get public holidays, except when they DO fall naturally on a weekend.

        • Bunji

          While I agree that those in your sort of situation need some sort of redress to get your fair requirement, I certainly don’t agree that this is some class war bill that only helps the middle class.

          I doubt the facts support your “most lower paid workers” missing out from this bill. Most lower paid workers will work Mondays, even if not all.

          It’s not purely a points scoring exercise, but when National hold 59 votes, and ACT 1, you need everybody else to agree to any changes, and National not to have reason to use their financial veto (ie not too big impact on Govt books – see PPL). So you do what you can get The Hair, the Maori Party, Brendan Horan, NZ First et al to agree to – you’re not going to get some complex, sort all inequities of the current legislation bill through.

          Do you begrudge all those thousands of NZ lower paid workers their extra day off in 2015, just because you won’t get an extra one? If so, you’re fighting the wrong people…

          • karol

            Bunji, I think it’s a bit unfair to say that people who don’t work Mondays begrudge a large number of workers getting an extra day off just because they don’t get it. The thing is, non-Monday workers already were getting less public holidays than the Monday-Friday workers. So it’s a case of more to those that have, and nothing to those who have less.

            Non-Monday workers have been existing with minimal public holidays for a long time. It’s the fact that the situation for such workers is being considered of a low priority. Not that they begrudge others getting more, but that they have been ignored.

            • Bunji

              karol, I don’t mean non-Monday workers are begrudging, just Madison came across that way – saying it was a terrible bill.

              Madison (and you!) have very important points about making sure non-Monday workers get their fair share… but Madison attacking this Bill for giving M-F workers their fair share seems the wrong way about it.

              Champion non-Monday workers cause (like you), not denigrate other workers getting their fair share, I say…

              • karol

                Thanks, Bunji. But I also understand why some non-Monday workers are a little pissed off. This is because, while they were the ones most in need of some public holidays, they were yet again ignored and those already with the most public holidays are likely to be given more.

                Fair share”? It always has been that Monday-Friday workers don’t get ANZAC & Waitangi Day off when they fall on weekends, and those years are relatively unusual. In contrast, people working Tuesday-Saturday or Wednesday to Sunday, rarely get the equivalent of a long weekend. So they have been getting, and continue to get, way less than their “fair share”.

                If “a fair share” was the strategy, transferring some public holidays to weekends for non-Monday workers would have been the top priority and not something left on the back-burner.

  7. Darien Fenton 7

    Here’s David’s and my replies to Madison from Red Alert :
    @Madison I want to acknowledge your concerns. Many have raised the same thing with me as Labours Employment Relations spokesperson so its on the list of things to consider for when Labour is next in government. The chances of getting any change to this while this lot are in power are zero. However, please do continue to speak out, make a submission and keep reminding Labour this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

    (didn’t see your submission Madison)

    @Madison as long as you understand that the Government holds almost all of the votes for passing legislation. They could change the law at any time to look after shift workers better, but they choose not to. We’ll do what we can, but I expect we’ll be held pretty closely to the proposal we’ve put forward. In opposition, we have to take the wins where we can get them. That said, the Government majority is looking shakier than ever.

    @Madison : simple answer. Change the government. This issue will not be addressed while National is in government. While Peter Dunne supported David’s bill, it is only on the basis of the provisions in the bill relating to Waitangi and Anzac Day. I have serious doubts he would support anything beyond that, although you could ask him. This is not a problem with Labour; it’s a problem with National, Act and the fact that Labour can only make change through members’ bills, which are put in a lottery with other bills from all parties and occasionally, just occasionally, drawn, as in the case of David’s bill. There are many other Labour bills in the ballot that would advance workers’ rights that will probably never see the light of day because of the ballot system. I have had two that were drawn, debated, and voted down by National, Act and NZ First (in one case). We are not the government. I wish we were.

    • karol 7.1

      Thanks Darien for such a full response, and I hope that this does get addressed by a future Labour government.

    • Madison 7.2

      Hi Darien,
      Glad to see that you do remember me from the first round of debates. To clarify the whole situation, I’m not upset at the bill getting approved. I’m very upset that during debate and to this day Labour MPs have outright lied about what this bill does. As we have very clearly sorted this bill does not fix situations like mine where I miss 4 or more public holidays each year, it does however fix the odd loopholes that allowed ANZAC Day and Waitangi Day to go by on the weekend without a corresponding weekday observation. What it has been advertised to do is guarantee all 11 public holidays for all NZ workers. This was stated by Dr. Clark in the original first reading debate and I think you might have mentioned it as well but my memory isn’t as exact on that.

      I wanted the bill to do what you and your colleagues have stated it does, and due to the quirks of my family I did make a submission but you probably didn’t read my name:
      I’ve blacked out my other names but you can find them if you wish. My submission is based on the desire to have the 11 days available for all employees, not just those who work the historic M-F.
      And per your own answers to my questions on Red Alert :
      In opposition we have to take the wins where we can get them.
      I’m cynical about most politics but that could be the reason that sounds like an exercise in points scoring to me, and it also sounded that way when I read it out to my family who all vote to the left of the scale.

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