Minister of Education lies to teachers

Written By: - Date published: 2:55 pm, December 11th, 2008 - 36 comments
Categories: education, national/act government, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Here’s Anne Tolley telling teachers before the election that they would not be covered by the fire at will legislation.

Turns out she was lying. Teachers at at least 800 schools nationwide will now have no work rights in their first 90 days on the job. Whatever it takes to win, eh National?

36 comments on “Minister of Education lies to teachers”

  1. Lampie 1

    Has the PTTA commented on this? I could ask one tonight

  2. Tane 2

    NZEI has a release out, but I can’t find it online yet. This video was taken at the NZEI conference.

  3. bobo 3

    Surely schools are not considered small business, unless they are planning to downsize schools…..

  4. Mr Magoo 4

    Oh come on now. She was not lying.

    The policy was not even drafted at that point. It did not cover them because it was not written yet.

    It is still not finished. This is so exciting, I just can’t wait to see how this one turns out.

    Good on you NZ! You got the change you voted for!

  5. Graeme 5

    To be fair, it still might not cover teachers. The media release to which you link states: “The changes will compound staff shortages for small schools and Early Childhood Centres.”

    If it is true that there are staff shortages, then those small schools and ECCs with which you are concerned can simply not amend their standard contracts. You imply that it is a seller’s market – small schools will pretty soon get the message not to insist on probationary periods when they can’t find staff.

  6. oh, so the market will save us. Phew.

  7. Graeme 7

    The claim was that the market would screw you over, so it doesn’t seem an unreasonable point to make.

    There are many reasons to oppose the 90-day bill. That it will make it harder to hire staff is not one of them.

    It will only make it harder for employers to find staff if employers want to make it harder for themselves.

  8. Quoth the Raven 8

    I wonder if any of the vacuous narcissists in the MSM will pick up on this.

  9. Well, Graeme, we’re both well-qualified young men able to earn good wages. Will you be taking the risk of taking a job at a company employing fewer than 20 people now? Why would you? What kind of additional pay and other conditions (costs for the employer) will you demand to balance the risk of being fired without cause? You must admit that you would be taking on a risk going ot a employer with fewer than 20 workers, you would surely charge for that risk.

  10. Graeme 10

    Will you be taking the risk of taking a job at a company employing fewer than 20 people now? Why would you? What kind of additional pay and other conditions (costs for the employer) will you demand to balance the risk of being fired without cause? You must admit that you would be taking on a risk going ot a employer with fewer than 20 workers, you would surely charge for that risk.

    Or I might just insist on there being no risk. It’s not mandatory.

    Only if employers of fewer than 20 staff insist on having a probationary period will they find it harder to hire staff. Any employer who thinks they will find it difficult to hire with a probationary period can instead choose to operate exactly as they are now – full rights from the beginning. Others may go with higher salaries or signing bonuses. Their choice.

    Hard-to-staff small schools will not find it any more difficult to hire staff. They just won’t have probationary periods. Why would they?

    As I say, there are plenty of good reasons to oppose this. Concern for employers really, really isn’t one of them. Employers have it within their power to very simply avoid all the problems probationary periods might bring.

  11. Graeme – what do you consider the good reasons to oppose the bill?

  12. Graeme 12

    They’re pretty obvious, and have been rehearsed here quite a bit:

    *employers will be able to take unfair advantage of vulnerable employees (and some employers actually will) – one might think that all employees should (at all times) have protection form arbitrary sacking, for example;
    *it may discourage some aspects of labour market flexibility;
    *the procedure in passing the bill is shoddy – even if you think probationary periods are a good idea, we can’t be sure that it will actually work without unforseen consequences if we don’t have fuller scrutiny of the bill.

    Of course there are good reasons for opposing absolutely everything a government is likely to do. Who’s to say whether those good reasons to oppose outweigh the good reasons for supporting the bill (because there are undoubtedly some of those too)? Perhaps you can give me some of those 🙂

  13. DeeDub 13

    I’m wonder what WINZ will say to someone who is dismissed under this law?

    You would think they would make it easier to get on a benefit without ‘stand down’ periods if someone is dismissed within 90 days of taking a job they were obliged to take under WINZ current rules? But I doubt it.

    This law is gonna bring fear and loathing to a LOT of people. But they never vote National or ACT so, no worries!

  14. Do you ever get a sore arse from sitting on that fence Graeme?

  15. Akldnut 15

    The ninety days was not supposed to apply to quest.. to to to to teachers
    (phew just got out of that, but what do I say now?)
    um.. so so because they ah are on a a um I mean th there is, th th th there is concern ah for t teachers being involved in that and I I understand that. (Damb!!!)

    She must have been wingin it cause she hadn’t read the policy, she’d only heard rumours about it! It must have still been in the idea stage

    Feel sorry for the Hansard stenographers when she gets to speak about things in the big room. What a joke Bwahahahaha! Bumbler

  16. Perhaps the good folk of the standard can start a list of all people who are fired under this 90 day bill, and the circumstances, and their job title, and most important of all their ethic group and gender!!!!

    Seriously, I’m guessing there will be very little people fired, and the ones that are would be the ones who didn’t meet the skills needed by their employer.

    Just out of interest how many posts have their been about this bill, and in a years time, when its only been people who didn’t do their job right that are fired, will the posters at the standard have enough integrity to say sorry?

  17. Zorr 17

    Brett, only if you also provide a list of all the additional people that this law helps get hired.

    If you are going to ask us to do something unreasonable, why can’t we just do the same to you?

    Whether you are for or against this bill, it is being passed in a very shoddy manner and watching Parliament TV is a gorram joke at the moment. Nearly zero National MPs in their seats allllllll day.

  18. QoT 18

    Love the logic, Mr Magoo. Incidentally I have a policy for increasing taxes to 50% across the board which nevertheless fails to cost anyone more cash out of their gross pay.

    I haven’t drafted it yet, but any reliance you place on my statements about it now shall not be misplaced, I assure you.

  19. The bill is to protect employers, not a bill to create more jobs, National will do this by tax cuts.

    There are never MP’s sitting in Parliament, and Labour supporters have no right to complain about urgency, they always used this.

  20. Tane 20

    Brett, the Minister of Labour seems to think it’s a bill to create more jobs. You might want to email her and let her know before it’s too late.

  21. Matthew Pilott 21

    Brett, can you also provide a list of people who were too afraid to speak out about poor conditions because of the bill, were forced to work outside their paid hours because of the bill, people who were forced to accept worse employment because of this bill, and any number of the myriad other negative effects that someone like you hasn’t the intelligence to understand (I guess that’s a self-explanatory “no”).  If you think the only complaint is because people might get fired then you are just simple – there’s no better word for it.  That comment demonstrates a spectacular lack of any depth of thought or reasoning.  Out of interest, when you walk into inanimate objects, do you blame them?

    I mean look at your somment about urgency.  Simple, so shallow and thought-bereft.  Nothing more to it than that.  Do you really think that’s the complaint, or are you just loo lazy to type out the real reasons behind it?

  22. pilott:

    Until I see good workers being fired for no reason, then i will support this bill.

  23. Dean 23


    “Well, Graeme, we’re both well-qualified young men able to earn good wages. Will you be taking the risk of taking a job at a company employing fewer than 20 people now? Why would you? What kind of additional pay and other conditions (costs for the employer) will you demand to balance the risk of being fired without cause? You must admit that you would be taking on a risk going ot a employer with fewer than 20 workers, you would surely charge for that risk.”

    Have you ever been in the position owning a business that employs fewer than 20 people?

    I’m guessing that must have been or are now given the amount of absolute knowledge you seem to have on this topic.

    I’d be interested in your thoughts on the pitfalls of hiring and firing staff – with firsthand knowledge.

  24. Dean. I can only tell you I won’t take the risk of working for a small business now.

  25. Steve:

    If your a good worker you would have nothing to worry about.

    [Brett you sound like a totalitarian – ‘you have nothing to fear from the secret police if you have nothing to hide’ – we should not create legal structures that depend on people always acting in a good manner. If people could be depended on to act in a good manner all the time we wouldn’t need laws and rights in the first place. SP]

  26. QoT 26

    Brett: Please to provide the universal, objective definition of “good worker” used by all employers in evaluating their workers? Because knowing that employers are all robots who never do anything bad or use personal opinion to affect management decisions will get me, at least, instantaneously in favour of this bill.

  27. Graeme 27

    Dean. I can only tell you I won’t take the risk of working for a small business now.

    Even one which doesn’t write a probation period into the contract they offer you? Why on Earth not?

  28. Janet 28

    The Greens have scanned the bills which will be pushed through under urgency and are not yet online and have posted them on their website. The Education Bill which contains significant amendments to the important 1989 Education Act is there and it is scary. Education bills like this must go to select committees because there are so many groups that will be affected by them and natural justice requires they have the opportunity for input. This one has new prosecution powers against parents. And the whole national standards testing and publicising results in ‘plain language’ is new for NZ. What will that mean in real life to kids who are not naturally high achievers? Disillusion with education at an early age, I bet.

  29. bob smith 29

    [lprent dad – you are banned]

  30. Dean 30


    “Dean. I can only tell you I won’t take the risk of working for a small business now.”

    Right, so you DONT know anything about hiring or firing staff in a small business beyond the rhetoric.

    Well at least you can admit it.

  31. Dean 31


    :[lprent: probable troll – read the Policy and my previous note.]”

    To be fair, Mallard would be a probably troll under most people’s criteria.


    “Even one which doesn’t write a probation period into the contract they offer you? Why on Earth not?”

    SP is motivated by ideals. Unlike some of the more rational writers on this blog, you can always count on SP to be a radical.

  32. The secret police??????

    Your comparing employers being protected by this bill, to some mythical secret police force?

    Ipbrent, you are aware, the cia isn’t spying on you, the government isnt moderating this blog, the company arent using satellites to watch you, they arent looking into your purchases, in fact the government doesnt care if you live or die.

    There, do you feel better?

    [lprent: Huh? Was that directed at me? Don’t think that I’ve said that. Besides I think that you’re a bit naive. I’ll leave that topic for sunday].

  33. LP – that’s dad.

    [lprent: I trust your d4j nose. Added to the moderated IP’s. You’d think he’d have better things to do. Edited out the comments on that IP set – you were right.]

  34. Kerry 34

    God these tories have absolutely no morals!

    Im a little suprised that there is shock over the Nats talking crap…HELLO thats all they do talk because they simply have no idea on running a country and being fair to ALL kiwis not just the Paratai Drive crowd!

  35. Jared 35

    Is it just me or are you conveniently ignoring the key point that, there will only be a probation period if both the employer and employee agree to it. This is not an automatic revocation of workers rights, this is merely allowing provisions that are common in employment contracts but held no legal weight to have effect if both parties agree to it. Care to scaremonger more? at least you could spout the truth rather than your version of it.

  36. Swampy 36

    “If people could be depended on to act in a good manner all the time we wouldn’t need laws and rights in the first place. SP”

    You should distinguish between laws that are necessary and those that are implemented for political reasons.

    If I see that there is a strong union movement affiliated to Labour and that Labour benefits directly from the union affiliation then I would have real tangible doubts about the impartiality of Labour passing laws and implementing policies that make the unions stronger and able to more easily able to enrich themselves on workers’ union dues.

    100% enforcement is not possible except in a police state, does that sort of end justify the means? It is a fact that Labour in its past term of government is very anti-business, for a lot of reasons, many of them purely ideological.

    One of the reasons why the unions are so up in arms is that they know full well that this policy is targeted at small businesses, an area which is very hard to unionise. It would be a different story in the larger businesses where unions have a strong and established presence and are well placed to oppose this law by all practical means.

    Small businesses, after all, have been targeted by Labour by other means to make life a lot harder for them, because Labour wants to control them by any means and the unions can’t do it so well.

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