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Why we train health and safety reps

Written By: - Date published: 4:31 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 14 comments
Categories: ACC, class war, health and safety - Tags:

Following the attack by Judith Collins on the CTU and Business NZ Health and Safety Training we have had lots of interest in how the courses we run are recognised and funded etc.

The NZCTU has been running the courses on contract to ACC since 2003.  Worker participation and Health and Safety Reps are a fundamental and vital component of the overall health and safety regulatory system as the 2012 Task Force acknowledged.

The training has been undertaken at considerable cost to the CTU in management and other costs. More than 30,000 HS Reps have been trained.

The CTU became involved in 2003 because the DOL took no steps, as the Government regulator responsible for the HSE Act, to promote, recognise or train the HS Reps introduced by the 2002 HSE Act amendment. To its credit the ACC agreed to a joint venture with the CTU to do so.  Business NZ was added as a provider after the ACC/CTU training programme was successfully promoted and established.

The ACC/CTU training has had several very positive evaluative assessments . Managers and Supervisors have been welcomed to the training and have also been positive about the training.

In 2008 ACC decided to tender the training out and issued a Request for Proposals (RFP).

Of course with our history and interest we provided a tender proposal and participated in the process.  The reality was those at ACC at the time had no commitment to Union lead health and safety training and the ideology at the time (still existent) was that somehow these representatives operated in a vacuum from the power relationships in a workplace that actually need support to overcome.  The same panic we are seeing now in the Supermarket inquiry (will suppliers feel free to submit in the power imbalance between them and the supermarket chains?) applies at double strength to workers.

I remember we got through the first round tender process and then heard it was likely ACC would dump both BusNZ and CTU and go with a “neutral” third provider – still in the market – Impac Training.  We voiced our concerns strongly, and it was recognised that unions actually provided training to a different group of workers than Business NZ or Impac would and that without tripartite participation in this important area of training, it was a “risk” to ACC to simply focus on one provider.  Our other concern was that of the three providers – we were (and still are) the only provider that does not charge an additional charge on top of the ACC funds provided for the job.  Our view was employers pay the leave, ACC pays the cost and we provide the training – it was a fair enough balance.

Eventually ACC also agreed that three providers was a safe way to go and the NZCTU had a legitimate role in providing training to workers who were elected as health and safety reps (and we subsequently have trained over 200 ACC reps on our programmes).  The awarding of contracts to the three providers resulted in a collaboration between us all to deliver a high quality training programme that ensured sufficient capacity in the system to meet the demand for rep training, meant each of the three providers could play to its strengths and enabled some competition in the system (which ACC thought was an important part of having more than one provider).

Over the last few years the contracts have changed since that first tender including constant reductions in the numbers of trainees we are funded to train and a narrowing down of the industries where trainees can be trained from (forestry, construction, agriculture, trucking and manufacturing).  The consequence we imagine, is that many workers now miss out on the training they need to use their powers in the Health and Safety Act (which requires attendance at a course approved by the Minister of Labour).

Our contract to train has been renewed for another year (see a previously released contract here – we are happy to release the new one which is very similar but with reduced numbers, but we need ACC agreement to do this).  But there is also a process that started last year to develop an expanded and/or new model for health and safety rep training consistent with the legal changes coming down the line in the Government’s programme to strengthen health and safety.  The CTU on behalf of workers given their vital interest in this has had numerous meetings with the Government last year and this year including WorkSafe about what scheme, under new health and safety law, is needed to ensure trained workers health and safety representatives across NZ industry are truly able to work in their workplaces to make them safe – that is a tricky question and requires a range of solutions in our view.

The Minister called our courses a rort and a scam despite us meeting our deliverables, ACC itself having put 200 reps through and the Minister of Labour approving and Gazetting the programme.  We don’t expect it will be her last attack on us and her mate Jordan Williams does those 30,000 trained reps a great disservice by supporting her attacks.  We have written to TVNZ about their liability broadcasting the Ministers defamation of us and this will either fuel the fire or they will do the thing any reasonable State Broadcaster would do and apologise.  Time will tell.

We anticipate further attacks by those that don’t want workers to know their health and safety rights and this blog is intended to set out the issues clearly for when and if that occurs (so bear with me!)

14 comments on “Why we train health and safety reps”

  1. fender 1

    You do wonderful work Helen. I certainly don’t envy you having to have any contact with the hideous minister Collins. As for that creep Williams, he must have been promised lower taxes if he picks up her crap and throws it around on her behalf.

    Hurry up TVNZ; apologise for repeating the defamatory comments!

  2. xtasy 2

    Helen, I agree with a lot with what you say re this, but you are up against the “chappy” from the “NZ Taxpayer’s Union” now, who considers all this a waste of money (taxpayer’s money). He has a bit of an easy argument, same like many employers, that such things can be communicated much more “cheaply” by simply having people view clips online, by downloading a video stream or so from a website, and “enlighten” themselves that way.

    I worked in different roles over many years, and the influence of the internet or intranet is now so strong, that most employers will try all to not have face to face contacts with service providers or volunteers, it is “cheaper” for them to have people told, you can “look that up on our website”.

    This is standard procedure now, and that is what you and the CTU are up against. People no longer count as human, biological species in your face or presence, they either have to adopt the robot role, or use and communicate with cyber robot communicators on intra or internet. Welcome to the digital age!

    As that is dealt with, where is your present stand on this, please?

    http://www.racp.org.nz/page/racp-faculties/australasian-faculty-of-occupational-and-environmental-medicine/realising-the-health-benefits-of-work/latest-news/

    http://www.racp.org.nz/page/racp-faculties/australasian-faculty-of-occupational-and-environmental-medicine/realising-the-health-benefits-of-work/may-2010-video-presentation-professor-sir-mansel-aylward/

    Do you know the background of one Dr David Beaumont, “President Elect” of the RACP, who have AFOEM as one of their major faculties, promoting the “work will set you free” ideology by one Professor Mansel Aylward? Do you know he runs his own NZ business called “Pathways to Work”, benefiting from contracts with MSD and ACC?

    Do you know one Helen Lockett, Policy Advisor for Workwise, who was one of the members on the “Health and Disability Panel” advising MSD and Paula Bennett on welfare reforms, and who managed to get a CONTRACT out of MSD to run trials for outsourcing work referral services and the likes for WINZ, like getting mental health sufferers and sole parents into work, for neat and rewarding “head money” fees?

    Do you know what Aylward et al are known for in the UK?

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/09/09/professor-mansel-aylward-my-what-a-very-tangled/

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/05/31/a-tale-of-two-models-disabled-people-vs-unum-atos-government-and-disability-charities-by-debbie-jolly-dpac/

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2013/08/28/unums-unaccepatable-influence-in-the-formulation-of-uk-dwp-atos-disability-assessment-regime-letter-to-president-of-the-faculty-of-occupational-medicine-royal-college-of-physicians/

    And perhaps dare to look at this info found here, that is more relevant for NZ and people here, on benefits for sickness or disability, who are pressured to look for jobs, competing with members of your CTU unions:

    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/medical-and-work-capability-assessments-based-on-the-controversial-bio-psycho-social-model/

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15463-designated-doctors-%e2%80%93-used-by-work-and-income-some-also-used-by-acc/

    Are you still standing by your support for the AFOEM and RACP’s statement on the “health benefits of work”, in view of what the persons just referred to stand for, one having been paid for “science” by a corrupt and convicted US insurance giant, called UNUM?

    Tell us, what side are you on, dear Helen?

  3. Skinny 3

    The National Government don’t like the idea of unionists getting together in groups and organising at the taxpayers expense. That’s their real fear, workers getting together and organising themselves.

    It’s an ideological position that has caused Joyce, Key and the Right to become overly calculating and paranoid. Cutting off funding because they think the proceeds of the funding will in part go to funding the Labour Party’s election campaign, this is their real reason we all know that.
    Nevermind New Zealand’s applauding record of workplace deaths and serious injuries, that requires a social conscience, of which they are morally bankrupt.

    I find their attitude to be absolutely disgusting and beggars belief. Meanwhile day after day, week after week, year after year, the death toll mounts of worker drones of the elite.

    Rubbing salt into the wound Key, Joyce, Bridges and their elk allow the captains of industry to buy their way out of justice, as clearly illustrated by the dirty deal Key-National brokered for Peter Whittall to never face criminal charges as he should have.

  4. big bruv 4

    “The National Government don’t like the idea of unionists getting together in groups and organising at the taxpayers expense.”

    Gee, I wonder why?

    What about this for an idea, how about the low life unionists get together in groups and organise at their OWN expense?

    Why is it that you people think you should have unlimited access to tax payer funds?

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      You’re neither bright, bruv, or financially literate. ACC worked out earlier on that it was cheaper for the taxpayer to fund injury prevention and that training workers reps was a viable part of that program. And nobody but you is saying ‘unlimited access to taxpayer funds’. Of course, as someone who doesn’t like paying debts to individuals or society, you’re in no position to comment anyway.

    • Skinny 4.2

      Big bruv you need to seek help angry man. Sounds like you have been up to no good the way your attacking workers (Unions). Your glass house spraying about paying debts is ‘cough’ strange considering you defaulted paying up $100 bet you lost on here.

  5. big bruv 5

    Te Reo

    What is “viable” about the unions ripping off the system?

    Or does that not matter?, is it ok for unions to rip off the tax payer, is it ok for union thugs like McCarten to not pay his tax?

    Why is it that you lot are so hypocritical?

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      D’oh! McCarten owes nothing. The subsidiary organisation that is associated with his employer has come to a repayment arrangement with IRD, just like many other entities who owe tax. Big whoop. I’m more concerned with your own failure to repay debts and your chronic inability to work out what the reply button is for. Early onset dementia may be that answer to both.

      • big bruv 5.1.1

        McCarten took money off the fools dumb enough to join his union and failed to pass those taxes onto the government. Now, you can try and spin that any way you like but the fact remains that he did not pay what he owes the taxpayer.

        I am concerned that the corrupt Labour party has employed a man who does not pay his taxes as chief of staff (and lets be honest here, that is also untrue, McCarten has been employed by the corrupt Labour party to be the campaign manager because they are so broke they cannot afford to pay him) yet in usual left wing fashion you lot excuse him simply because he is on the same team.

        I have always known that left wing politics is corrupt, this only goes to reinforce that view.

        • Te Reo Putake 5.1.1.1

          Corruption is something you’d know more about that me, Bruv. And I find it disappointing that a champion of business such as your good self can be so ignorant of NZ commercial and tax law. McCarten is not personally liable for the debt. The entity that does owe the tax has come to a mutually satisfactory deal with IRD, as do hundreds of businesses each year.

          You can smear all you want, but Unite is a voluntary organisation and it’s members are free to leave if they don’t like any aspect of the way it operates. But they don’t. They stay, because it offers good value to them.

          Why do you hate the free market, Bruv?

    • Murray Olsen 5.2

      “Union thugs”?? You poor scared little piece of garbage. Have you got the sandbags up around your house yet for when the union thugs arrive? The thuggery I see comes from employers who send workers down unsafe mines, forestry businesses that send workers out to risk death, police that are happy to send obviously innocent young men to prison, WINZ workers who send people off with no food and even less hope……… I don’t see unions doing any of that. I do see their members get run over on picket lines while the poaka watch on. And all the likes of you ever do is grovel at the feet of your “betters”, repeating their absurd mantras while you wait for whatever they’re willing to trickle all over you. Pffft.

  6. big bruv 6

    Te Reo

    Why do you overlook left wing corruption so easily?

    Do you not see how hypocritical you look?

    • xtasy 6.1

      big bruv needs a big hug, from a motherly kind of person, but as he/she never got that, the lack of sympathy and sharing ability is evident. It is HATE, hate, and more hate, of attack and none else. Big bruv, see a counselor please, you need some help!

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    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 day ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    2 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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