Local Board members call for council action on PoAL

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, March 24th, 2012 - 38 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, business, workers' rights - Tags:

We’ve received the following press release from Auckland Council Local Board members calling on Len Brown and the councilors to stand up to PoAL’s out of control management. The workers want to work and be more productive. The bosses want to screw them out of their pay to increase profits and are acting irrationally in pursuit of that goal.

—————————————————-

Thirty two Auckland Council Local Board members today banded together to call for immediate action from their colleagues on the Governing Body of Auckland Council in the wake of the lock-out of workers at the Ports of Auckland.

“This is an extraordinary situation and it is now clear that the Ports of Auckland management and Board are out of control and exposing the Auckland economy to enormous risk”, say the Board Members.

“On Wednesday the Court ordered a return to good faith bargaining and a halt to out-sourcing by the company. Yet on Thursday POAL insisted that they will still proceed with out-sourcing, and locked out the entire workforce. It is our belief that they do not actually want bargaining to succeed and that good faith and the Local Governmant Act requirement to be a ‘good employer’ is being seriously breached by a Council owned company”

“Workers would also appear to be locked out prior to the legally allowable two week notice period. This means that POAL may be locking out in direct breach of the law. For Auckland’s port to be held back from being fully worked because of a possibly illegal action by the company is completely unacceptable”

“The situation has now spiralled completely out of control. The court provided an opportunity for a reasonable good-faith settlement to be reached, but POAL has intransigently chosen to go down the route of conflict”

“The matter can no longer be considered operational. It is a strategic crisis affecting all of Auckland, and our political leaders have a right and a responsibility to act. With at least $12.7 million in revenue lost due to the dispute to date, for what appears to be a pre-determined contracting out strategy, the judgment of POAL management and Board must be questioned. We call on the Mayor and the Governing Body of Auckland Council to urgently consider the actions of its company, and to directly question whether they can continue to support the Boards of ACIL and POAL who have mis-managed the situation so badly”, conclude the Board members.

ENDS

Full list of Local Board Members issuing this statement:
* Please note that each Board member issuing this statement does so in their own right only, and not on behalf of their Board.

Helga Arlington, Albert-Eden
Josephine Bartley, Maungakiekie-Tamaki
Leila Boyle, Maungakiekie-Tamak (Chair)
Jesse Chalmbers, Waitemata
Shale Chambers, Waitemata (Chair)
Caroline Conroy, Papakura
Pippa Coom, Waitemata
Christopher Dempsey, Waitemata
Graeme Easte, Albert-Eden
Carrol Elliot, Mangere-Otahuhu
Tunumafono Ava Fa’amoe, Otara-Papatoetoe
Julie Fairey, Puketapapa
Catherine Farmer, Whau
Grant Gillon, Kaipataki
John Gillon, Kaipataki
Mary Gush, Otara-Papatoetoe
Peter Haynes, Albert-Eden (Chair)
Neil Henderson, Waitakere Ranges
Richard Hills, Kaipataki
Viv Keohane, Kaipataki
Chris Makoare, Maungakiekie-Tamaki
Tracey Martin, Rodney
Christine O’Brien, Mangere-Otahuhu
Greg Presland, Waitakere Ranges
Simon Randall, Maungakiekie-Tamaki
Tricia Reade, Waitemata
Leau Peter Skelton, Mangere-Otahuhu (Chair)
Lydia Sosene, Mangere-Otahuhu
Alan Verrall, Maungakiekie-Tamaki
Margi Watson, Albert-Eden
Michael Wood, Puketapapa
Denise Yates, Waitakere Ranges (Chair)

38 comments on “Local Board members call for council action on PoAL”

  1. muzza 1

    There are councilors who have been doing things on the inside…Cathy Casey is one of them, who has been actively lobbying the councilors, Len Brown and in the case of the financial matters, Doug McKay. Cathy Casey was also the vote which kept asset sales off the table as a funding option for the long term AKL plan..She is not the only one, but the majority are guilty of sitting on their hands!

  2. LynW 2

    That statement is great to see and certainly well due. Out of interest, how many local board members are there in total? I note Franklin’s Des Morrison is not on the list. Is Cathy Casey making a point by not putting her name to the list?

    • There is from memory about 160 local board members.  

      Councillors were not asked to put their name to the statement but the really staunch ones are Richard Northey, Cathy Casey, Sandra Coney, Alf Filipiana, Wayne Walker and Mike Lee.  Penny Hulse has also been very supportive.

    • muzza 2.2

      The list comprises local board members, not the Councilors by the looks of it!

      Great to see this list though….

      Any chance of the names of those who are not on the list? Yeah , being a little lazy with that question!

  3. marsman 3

    Sack the Board of POAL, no redundancy, no notice, out now.

    • Georgecom 3.1

      Not sack Marsman, sub contract. Announce that due to necessities for increased flexibilities the POA Board is being replaced by some labour hire services. Interested Board members can apply. They’ll be on call for Board meetings and any other requirements but when not needed will be stood down. Pay rate $20 per hour.

      • Akldnut 3.1.1

        Contract them, put them on call but don’t use them – pay rate: minimum wage but only while there is a meeting taking place.

        See how they like it.

  4. Mike Lee and Cathy Casey were down at the picket line with us on Thursday.

  5. ianmac 5

    But isn’t it written into the Law that the Auckland Council/Mayor are forbidden to become involved. A cunning Hide grenade.

    • There isn’t any law saying “thou shalt not interfere”. There are various customs and practices. POAL is under the Ports Companies Legislation meant to have only commercial imperatives. It does not report to Council directly but to ACIL.

      It is more of a case of what can the Council do. One power they have is to fire directors of ACIL if it does not bring POAL into line. But Len frustratingly does not think the threshold where he should interfere has been reached. it must be very close though …

    • lprent 5.2

      Not exactly. From memory..

      They can’t touch the port board directly despite owning 100% of the port. They have to go through the council controlled organisation ACIL (Auckland City Investments Ltd ?) where their primary influence is a few of the board positions appointed (despite that being owned 100% by them) by the council. The remainder are appointed by the Minister of Local Government, who I think appointed the whole board before the super-shitty formed.

      So in effect right now we have an Act appointed board running several rate payer owned assets and in my view busily running it into the ground with their hand-picked POAL board appointed by the Act party.

      I realise I’m over-simplifying the Act influence for effect. However bearing in mind that Act couldn’t run their own frigging party without disintegrating into factions of one as soon as they placed their grubby hands on the treasury benches – is it any wonder that their hand appointed boards are screwing up by the numbers?

      For some reason those divinely appointed fuckwits in Act always seem to think that everyone else will quietly aquiesce to being screwed over – and always surprised when it doesn’t happen.

      • Psycho Milt 5.2.1

        However bearing in mind that Act couldn’t run their own frigging party without disintegrating into factions of one as soon as they placed their grubby hands on the treasury benches – is it any wonder that their hand appointed boards are screwing up by the numbers?

        No indeed. However, we can remain eternally grateful that their inability to work in teams of anything bigger than one rendered them incapable of achieving any more damage than they already have…

        • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1

          Is John Banks still what passes for alive? Haven’t heard peep out of him on anything.

          • Psycho Milt 5.2.1.1.1

            Hmm – that’s a point. Banks supposedly gave us Charter schools. So, even as a team of one they can still serve as plausible denial for nasty stuff National wants to do.

          • Anne 5.2.1.1.2

            Well, I’ve seen him at Question Time in the House sitting next to Nick Smith. Mind you have never seen a flicker of movement so you might be right. Maybe they prop him up in his seat for the cameras so it looks like he’s still alive.

            • Rodel 5.2.1.1.2.1

              I think Banks is being a good boy so he can take over Nick Smith’s job. But I don’t think the other John has the nerve to do that.

  6. Blue 6

    Finally someone in local government is prepared to stand up and say what needs to be said.

    Auckland ratepayers should not have to foot the bill for Pearson’s ideological crusade. They did not sign up to give the POAL board a blank cheque to waste however much money they desired to break the union.

    The board is out of control, far overstepping their bounds as a council controlled organisation responsible to ratepayers. They’re acting like a private company already.

    The fact that they think they can get away with sort of shit is astonishing.

  7. ad 7

    LIke a Minister with the Chair of an SOE, the Mayor could simply express (privately or publically) that he no longer “has confidence” in the Board. That means they must resign.

    Then the Mayor would simply make it a stipulation of the new Chair and Board he appoints that they replace the Ports of Auckland Board.

    This is a bog-standard refresh process that goes through Cabinet. So it should in Auckland Council. It’s high time he had a clean-out of the central-government apopinted members.

    Failling that, he could pop down to Tauranga and generate a common rate card for landing with all the north island main port owners. In order to screw the real enemy in this; Maersk and P&O.

    I seriously want a Mayor with a pair of commercial balls.

    • Fortran 7.1

      Unfortunately the Auckland Council are not the Cabinet, and therefore are unable to change legislation required here.
      In 2014 when we are in Co-Government we will be able to make these changes.
      Assuming Shearer/Robertson and Norman can agree what needs doing.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        Doesn’t need any change to legislation at all to do this. Check out the relevant parts of the 2009 Auckland Acts, in parallel with the 2002 LGA on these kinds of entities.

  8. Carol 8

    And apparently the core values of the Auckland supershitty are:

    pride, accountability, respect, service, teamwork and innovation…..

    as described by CEO McKay in November 2011:

    http://www.management.co.nz/Editorial.asp?eID=57588&Wcat=102

    Organisational culture has also been a priority with research commissioned early on to establish which values staff felt best represented the new organisation. These were identified as: pride, accountability, respect, service, teamwork and innovation.

    Accountability….???!! Worthy of a Tui billboard!

    • Uturn 8.1

      “…to establish which values staff felt best represented the new organisation…”

      That isn’t how you locate values – you don’t just pluck them out of the air as ones you wish you had, or “feel best represent you”. Talk about delusional. And they paid for it? Now that is snakeoil sales at its best!

      • Carol 8.1.1

        Well, these values don’t seem to have much to do with the operation of the council under McKay, so he doesn’t seem to be making much effort to ensure the council measures up to them…. whatever air they were plucked out of.

        But how the top managers of a council that was set up so that they are unaccountable to the residents & ratepayers, can say with a straight face that “accountability” is one of their core values is beyond me. Certainly the POAL managers seem to not only be unaccountable, but they fail to meet other core values… respect, teamwork (which they are trying to undermine with individual contracts), service…….

        I see the image accompanying this post on the mainpage has a wharfie with a placard saying

        Company values? Bullshit!

  9. james 111 9

    Lets get rid of Len Brown he is an absolute muppet with no fiscal aptitude.

    Typical lefty cant stay within a budget and all he knows how to do is tax the shite out of his rate payers.

    Its absolutely criminal that he is advocating 20% plus rate increases in some areas more than 6 times the current inflation rate. No council should be allowed to lift rates beyond the current infaltion rate,and must learn to live within a budget

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Your misrepresentations are bullshit as usual.

      The problem is that Hide’s legislation imposes uniform charges on the new City, but of course the previous rates and various charges were very different under different Councils.

      Now the new City has to bring all these into line which means rises for some and falls for others. The overall rate increase is nothing like 20% of course.

  10. james 111 10

    Thats fine Red the average may be less over all but some people are paying 20% increases under Len that is criminal. Everyone makes use of the services of the council. People in one suburb dont use the or get a benifit that is greater than another. You cant work on an average like Len is where he is raping ,and pillaging some suburbs to look after others.Everyone should pay the same % increase as inflation ,and not a cent more that is fair to all.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      It’s not what he’s doing you dipshit. If he gave everyone a uniform rise, then some areas would be rated at a lower rate than others.

    • muzza 10.2

      Jimmy, and what would you propose be done then? Lets hear how you would do it!

      I notice that you are trying to hang Brown, when it was the nact that forced the supercity onto aucklanders..and the nact are going to try to roll it out nationwide…that was predicted years ago!

      I’m not a LB fan, but I was please to not have John Banks ruling over us, that worked out well didn’t it!

      Let me ask you something…..when you are trying to build systems which standardise the SC ratings systems, and it was told that there were to be savings for the ratepayer which it turns out, can never be realised, and the system is being developed by teams of consultants with a project many times over budget already…just whose fault would you guess that to be?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      And you still miss the fact that it was this government, under the direction of Rodney Hide, that forced those rate rises.

    • RedLogix 10.4

      Thats fine Red the average may be less over all but some people are paying 20% increases under Len that is criminal.

      Nope that is the fault of the legislation that imposes uniform charges that Rodney Hide is responsible for. Len Brown knows it’s a crock of shit and wants it ammended so as the necessary changes can be phased in over 3 years or so… not all at once as the current Government Legislation requires.

      Who exactly here is the criminal in your mind again?

  11. Beautiful 11

    Don’t get mad, I still love you, your perfect, it doesn’t matter- fat, thin, short, tall, purple or red or orange poka dots- you are still utterly gorgeous!!!!

  12. eljaydee 12

    If, as everyone seems to believe, the PoA board is acting illegally, what does it take to have them arrested?
    It seems the FBI can get people arrested easily enough for upsetting US financial interests and a bunch of people playing with guns in the Ureweras can get themselves arrested easily enough but a bunch of criminals in a boardroom have immunity?

    • JH 12.1

      that’s the way it works thanks to the legal fiction of the legal person. They’re not personally responsible for their actions, only the company they control is – of course, that company is them but only in rare circumstances do they face any personal consequences.

  13. Corundell 13

    Now the Auckland Supercity CEO Doug McKay and his board of directors…Now were they elected by the ratepayers and people of Auckland???…Or were they given there jobs freely by Rodney Hide???…Now if that is correct isn’t that illegal???…If they weren’t voted in by the ratepayers and the people of Auckland, they should not be there!!!!….Rodney Hide has alot to answer for all of this….Look at how many rich fat cats are creaming the ratepayers of Auckland and getting away with it…This is CORPORATE GREED!!!!

  14. Takere 14

    – Len I think this means…get off your arse and show some leadership! Or don’t bother running for a second term!!

  15. JamesGeorge 15

    Too little, too late from a mob who have been rendered impotent by the hide framework for the effective imposition of tyranny.
    If this battle were to be won it would only be after the efforts of a group of citizens whose average age be some two decades less than the average age of the port workers.
    Since it is blindingly apparent that these workers’ jobs are history if determination of their future is left up to Auckland’s corrupted political and judicial processes, there is only one way forward.
    That would be if a group of fit young kiwis, armed with the current talking stick favoured by active young people, the baseball bat, and who had no obvious links to the port workers, set about teaching members of both poa and actil boards, the inevitable consequence of removing food from the tables of kiwi workers.

    I don’t think the oppression of the people of aotearoa has become sufficiently advanced yet to engender the passion amongst young kiwis that is necessary for such a group to form.

    Combine that with the short-sighted manner many so called activists have dismissed the concerns of young kiwis, consequently allowing our community to be fragmented by those who fear solidarity, and it is difficult to see any happy ending for the Wharfies.

    By way of explanation, the denial of a future for many young kiwis by burdening them with lifelong debt for obtaining something which the decision makers copped for free, combined with preventing them access to a stake in the community by allowing NZ’s limited residential accommodation to be flogged off to the highest bidder from anywhere, preceded the formation of the key government.

    In saying that I recognise that many of those port workers opposed the commoditisation of higher education and the creation of excessive demand for NZ’s housing stock by rewarding speculators by omitting to tax their gains, and encouraging foreigners to buy in to the speculation. I doubt that distinction is apparent to the young whose limited understanding of the left has been influenced by lying beer commercials and the like.

    A result of the cupidity which raged to during the term of the Clark government has been the formation of a substantial chunk of young people of Aotearoa who couldn’t give a toss about the travails of middle aged recently working kiwis.

    There is much work to be done. None of which includes placating the ‘floating’ greedheads whose triennial decision on which box to tick is determined entirely by self-interest.
    It makes a lot more sense to court the young people whose lack of regard for the election process has been encouraged by such overtly self-serving displays of hypocrisy.

  16. Jasper 16

    Auckland Ports fiasco costing; 49 days so far at $$430,000 daily = $21.1 million losses! SACK THE BOARD & Gibson CEO $750,000 salary! Good onyah Rodney Hide! Making CCO’s profitable for Auckland Rate payers! Yeah Right!

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