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Key’s divide and rule to cut wages

Written By: - Date published: 8:28 am, October 22nd, 2009 - 20 comments
Categories: capitalism, john key, national/act government, same old national, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

storyeduleadJohn Key says that if school support staff want pay-rises then teachers should sacrifice the ones they bargained for.

Tell him to get stuffed.

I don’t see him and his rich mates handing back the hundreds of dollars a week each in tax-cuts that National gave. I don’t see Key or his buddies Mark Weldon and Rob Fyfe or any of the CEOs handing back their pay-rises.

Teachers bargained for their pay-rises, they have a contract. They shouldn’t have to give up their small and fair pay rises so support staff can get one. Wage rises are not a zero sum game. It is dispicable that Key would try to pitch worker against worker like this but that is his true colours showing.

Key made these comments at the CTU national conference. I hope Helen Kelly takes this as a lesson in why you don’t cuddle up with Tories.

At the end of the day, Key’s comments reflect the fact that he “would love to see wages drop“. He is not interested in lifting wages for working New Zealanders. He’s just interested in pocketing more of this country’s wealth for his rich mates and himself.

20 comments on “Key’s divide and rule to cut wages ”

  1. But I thought that he wanted to lessen the gap between the average Kiwi and Aussie wage?

    What is really sad is that to a large extent wage rises are compensation for the previous year’s inflation. If you do not compensate then you get a decrease.

  2. corkscrew 2

    It is his consistant tactic to pit the middle and working classes against themselves to lower pay and benefits while cutting taxes for the rich and selling off our property for a song to his party’s donors.

  3. The cheek of Shonkey. There are signs that the CTU and importantly PSA leaderships are realising positive engagement with this hostile wage freezing, public service sacking, tory government is not a runner.

  4. Bill 4

    “There are signs that the CTU and importantly PSA leaderships are realising….”

    And the question is begged. WTF would it take for a union movement to, even momentarily, think otherwise?!

    Anybody?

    • Well Bill there are several reasons why there is not a universal default “lets take on NACT!’ postition among unions.
      a) 9 years of a mainly supportive government with some good gains made. (bye youth rates, 4th weeks leave, min wage up, meal break provision etc). Shifting back onto a more combative footing after a period when unions were well consulted and involved in ITOs, Health and safety, and delegate education etc. involves some adjustmenthey, we were valued partners and now we’re not…
      b) some union members voted for ‘change’ ie National, so a period was required for the difference between what those voters aspired to and the reality of what they are now getting from Shonkey to sink in.
      c) Past performance re how the pre ECA and ECA era NZCTU leadership responded to a National Govt.. Read some history. Different crew now.

      Bottom line is unions that get active, organise members and communities and get the facts out there, at least have a fighting chance to not only resist some of NACTs union busting but improve things.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        Or less kindly….

        a) 9 years of getting it handed on a plate, getting comfortable and dis-empowering the members…(leave it to us lads, we’ll have a wee chat about 4 weeks A/L etc, etc.) alongside the ‘don’t rock the boat, we’re in partnership now’…whatever the fuck that is or was ever meant to mean.

        b) the unions conspired in having class dropped off the table and kicked under the sofa promoting the box gift set of identity politics in its stead; a gift to the ‘right’ insofar as they can exploit the disaffection experienced by the working class by rehabilitating levels of racism and sexism when working class organisations deny the reality of, or impact of class; get co-opted by government and staffed by too many M.C. wnaker careerists.

        c) different crew. same result. no idea and….the working class gets shafted.

  5. Tigger 5

    This is a GREAT idea. And of course, Key will lead the charge. Government MPs will give up a portion of their wages for Parliamentary staff!

  6. Di 6

    How about giving the money that Don Brash is “earning” to “lessen the gap between Australian and NZ wages ” to the school support staff for a starter.

  7. The talk of raising Kiwi wages was always in conflict with the actions enabling employers to further reduce and erode the pay and conditions of the people they employ. If anyone was confused on the point, they will hopefully be shedding those misconceptions now.

    A picture: The confused face of a person who voted National over “smacking” and “nanny state” who has just lost their job thanks to National’s policies: PRICELESS.

    • felix 7.1

      Don’t forget the “tax cuts north of $50 a week” they voted for too.

      • Gordon Shumway 7.1.1

        Must be why the polls are showing so many of them flocking to support opposition parties…

        (Sorry, assumed we were playing “pull nonsense out of your arse”.)

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    Sadly I know of a lot of teachers who voted National last election, some had not voted in to many previous elections and didn’t know how or could not remember their failed policies in education, health, and the rest of the public service from the past.

    I get the feeling there is going to be a lot of pain for the honeymooners after Mr Key has finished.
    The National Party say one thing do the other and Kiwis always end up poorer as a result. No surprises there!

  9. greenfly 9

    Oh yes, and Mr Key, get stuffed!

  10. grumpy 10

    There is no doubt that school support staff are underpaid – but they also were under the last 9 years of Labour.
    Labour’s cosy relationship with the teacher’s unions saw the teachers get pay rises at the expense of the much lower paid and less regarded support staff.
    With Bradford leaving, who now to fight for the real low paid workers in the education system?

  11. roger nome 11

    No, no no, you lefties have got it all wrong as usual. You see, what you do to get higher wages is cut worker bargaining rights, cut public sector wages, cut public services/introduce more user pays, cut benefits – then sacrifice a few hundred benefit-dependent children in honor of the mighty and mystical invisible hand, then vola! Instant utopia!

    You guys will never get it though. Dumb lefties!

  12. A Nonny Moose 12

    I’m keeping up my mantra “Only two years to go, only two years to go”.

    AAC, Health, Social Welfare, SuperAnn, now education – Congratulations NZ, you wanted a change, you got it.

    Does National have any concept of building for the future?

  13. Nick J 13

    In all fairness the Unions and the teachers might now reflect on the lack of solidarity they have shown to support staff over the last decade. My wife as a school librarian has watched teachers successfully defend their pay and conditions whilst idly watching support staff suffer cuts in pay and conditions.

    Key is only twisting the knife in an existing wound, It might help if the Unions and teachers in particular fought a little harder for the support staffs wages and conditions.

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