Airbrushing at will

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 pm, February 26th, 2009 - 25 comments
Categories: national/act government, spin, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Via Farrar’s site I’ve come across this a lovely piece of Government spin. It’s a PDF document checking off everything National’s done in its first 100 days. It’s pretty comprehensive.

Funny thing is, despite mentioning everything from bonding doctors to line by line spending reviews, they seem to have completely forgotten the unpopular 90 day fire at will bill. You know, the one they undemocratically rammed through under urgency at the end of last year.

I don’t blame them.

25 comments on “Airbrushing at will”

  1. monkey boy 1

    You don’t blame them?

    Well I do. What an apalling oversight!

    They should be proud of their sensible initiative to free up the labour market and encourage mobility in the employment sector.

    You say ‘Fire at Will’ I say ‘Hire at Will’.

    What’s the difference, really?

  2. Tane 2

    You can already hire at will, mb. This law is about making it easier to fire people unfairly. There’s no evidence it will create one single extra job.

  3. Ianmac 3

    And does someone fired at will get the full privileges of job loss or do they face a long stand-down as penalty for being fired?

  4. Undemocratically? Are you suggesting that they lost the vote but did it anyway Tane?

    • lprent 4.1

      bb: It is called due process. It is not something that wingnuts are keen on – they tend (like you) to be keen on lynch mob as the process. But then wingnuts hardly qualify as being civilized.

      In this case the bill should have gone to select committee.

  5. Daveski 5

    Agreed the urgency was overplayed. Needless too.

    However, the people seem to like the fact that they have kept their promises while not delivering any shocks and in fact delivering some surprises eg minimum wage. SP is still spluttering into his keyboard.

    A genuine question – was the 90 day bill part of the 100 day plan?

  6. Ari 6

    Undemocratically? Are you suggesting that they lost the vote but did it anyway Tane?

    I believe he’s suggesting that it ought to have gone to a select committee.

  7. Ari, do you mean in the same way the EFB did with labour? Or the copyright bill that Tizard ignored and put thew contentious clause back in?
    The last decade saw the govt adopt an approach that was like “to the victors go the spoils”. Is it really any surprise that national have adopted a similar approach?

    • BeShakey 7.1

      barnsleybill – Those went to select committee (they may highlight the fact that the select committee process isn’t perfect, but that’s hardly news). I think everyone is tiring of hearing years of trilling about ‘corrupt’ Labour, and how evil they were and JK and co would change everything, and now that they haven’t the response is that its all OK because Labour did it.

  8. keith 8

    FDR had a 100 day plan when he became president during the great depression; prob key/crosby-textor want to paint themselves in a similar light. The difference being that FDR came from a privileged background and saw through the bullshit of the wealthy class unlike state-house raised Key who has worked his whole life to suck up to the rich and powerful. So whereas FDR’s 100 day plan worked to improve the lot of the people, National just took advantage of the situation to screw over the people with muck like the 90 day bill.

  9. Santi 9

    What a joy to see the EFA ditched for good. Priceless!

  10. Tigger 10

    Santi – actually parts of the EFA live on…changes made to the Broadcasting Act, for example, by the EFA are still in force. So National didn’t ‘repeal’ the EFA, they merely tore some pieces off it.

    What gets me is that this plan totally ignores the economic crisis. Shouldn’t a sensible government coming in at this time spent less on doing all this policy laden stuff and spent immediate time on fixing the economy? The answer is yes.

  11. Redbaiter 11

    Where are all the new posts? You guys been drinking too liberally again???

    (over Andrew’s success?)

  12. toad 12

    Yes, Tane, I’m still trying to work out why the fire@will.bill, which was not on the list, got pushed through under urgency and with no Select Committee scrutiny in the first 100 days.

    I’m already aware of one glitch – a guy who is on benefit in Dunedin, has got a job starting in Christchurch on Tuesday next week, and Work and Income won’t loan him the money he needs to move because he will be on a trial period and therefore “not permanent employment’.

    I think it is a case of Work and Income Ministerial Directions failing to keep up with the law change.

    You see, there used to be permanent employment, which they would loan or grant people money to help them move to, and temporary employment, which they wouldn’t. And that made sense – a good idea to give a one-off payment to someone if it gets them out of the benefit system, but a silly idea if they have only 2 or 3 weeks work and then go back on benefit.

    But now there are going to be trial periods, which are something in between permanent and temporary employment, and the Work and Income policy doesn’t anticipate this.

    This probably would have been picked up if there had been Select Committee hearings on the Bill, but there were not, so it was not.

    So, just as I predicted at the time, legislation undemocratically rushed through under urgency has unexpected and unintended consequences.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    So, making it less of a risk for employers to take on new employees is not a good thing?

    • Matthew Pilott 13.1

      No, not necessarily. For example, you could enact a law saying that you didn’t have to worry about workplace safety at all, and it would be easier to take on new employees, as the old ones get injured and/or die.

      Now that’s a silly argument, really, but so is your point. Simplistic to the point of uselessness. It might be good for the employer, but it might also help to look at the overall picture.

  14. toad 14

    Pssst, Matthew, don’t give them ideas!

    • Matthew Pilott 14.1

      Na it’s fine, toad, they’re having this ‘do-fest’ now which is going to yield a rich bounty of ideas and action….

  15. jimbo 15

    I see we’re all still sloganeering against this Act and what it’s intended to achieve…

    Urgency was unnecessary and a silly political decision. The Government should have patiently gone through the select committee process and responded to all the universally over-egged arguments against probation periods (which get rehashed here every week or so).

    Simple question – which of you believes the next Labour government will repeal this Act? If you reckon they WON’T repeal it, why not?

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    jimbo – I suspect Labour would campaign on repealing the act if it is a big issue. If it is not they may well repeal the Act without making it a big issue.

    I imagine it will be repealed unless it is working well and achieving what was overtly intended – making it easier to hire people, without resulting in excessive hardship or uncertainty for workers, or reducing workforce training.

    If, somehow, it does work, and there aren’t negative effects, then I’d be ambivalent about keeping the Act in place – if others on the left feel the same way, then Labour could possibly keep it in place. That’s not the outcome I expect, whether the bad stroies are publicised or not – and I don’t expect we’ll hear much about what goes wrong unless we go looking for the stories.

  17. As I understand it, this was a list of what they promised to do in their first 100 days. The trial periods bill was what you call a bonus!

  18. gingercrush 18

    What makes something unpopular? I mean sure the fire-at-will is unpopular among leftist bloggers, unions and I’m sure certain organisations. But I’m not sure its unpopular with a majority of New Zealanders? Something isn’t unpopular simply because the left disagrees with it surely?

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