web analytics

No good faith from Nats

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 pm, September 13th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: labour, national/act government, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

Finance Minister Bill English has told doctors, teachers, and other public servants that they will not be getting pay-raises when their collective contracts come up for renewal.

That is constitutionally outrageous and a big political mistake. Ministers are not allowed to direct public sector pay negotiations. It is clearly against the rules of the State Sector Act. English is effectively purporting to dictate the terms of collective agreements that are currently under or soon will be under negotiations, in breach of the good faith bargaining provisions of the Employment Relations Act.

More fundamentally problematic is that English seems to think it is up to the government, as employer of public servants, to dictate how much they are paid. Any employment contract, including that between public servants and the Crown’s organisations, is an agreement between the two parties. An employer is not a master, nor an employee a slave. We do not meekly take whatever the employer decides, according to their generosity or lack of it. Workers, usually as members of unions, bargain with their employer to define the wages and conditions of their employment (or, more commonly, piggyback on the successes unions via pass-on).

So it is and will be with public servants, despite English’s arrogant and foolish outburst. The unions will negotiate with the members’ employers for fair pay increases. If the Crown organisations try to enforce English’s zero-increase edict, if they refuse to bargain in good faith, they will face industrial action.

I can’t help but note that English is also attempting to make a liar of John Key. Last year on Breaskfast (the vid isn’t online, reference here), Key promised to increase the after-tax wages of junior doctors who were going on strike. Now, not only have the tax cuts been cancelled but English wants them not to get pay rises either. I wonder if, in 2011, the doctors and all the others will remember the promises of higher after-tax wages National made and then broke.

As more and more workers, public and private, find their employers trying to force zero pay increases – effective pay cuts – on them, there’s a political opportunity for Labour. All they have to do is stand up for the workers, whose interests the party was set up to advance.

17 comments on “No good faith from Nats”

  1. Kiwi_busa 1

    All in all a very good reason why the government should ditch the ERA in my opinion.

    • Ari 1.1

      I’m going to hope you mean in favour of better employee protection 😛

    • not the real Ken Douglas 1.2

      All in all a very good reason the PSA to initiate for a Multi Employer Collective Agreement for those CEA’s that are expiring

  2. Following on from John Keys response to Mt Roskill firefighters last week, ‘double Dipton’s’ spiel appears to be a ‘line’ or policy, attempting to create the climate for a non legislated wage freeze. The strategy will likely pit organised workers against unorganised. Why should ‘they’ get a rise when ‘you’ and your responsible employer are not getting one.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    I wonder if, in 2011, the doctors and all the others will remember the promises of higher after-tax wages National made and then broke.

    I’m hoping that they remember that John Key said he wanted wages to drop. Bill English and John Key are certainly doing everything in their power to drive wages down.

  4. Kiwi_busa 4

    No sorry I mean ditch the ability for unions to disrupt employers going about their business. Business owners have the balls to take risks and invest in business thereby creating employment. Unions come along, with nothing to risk and do their best to wreck other peoples hard work. They a sinister cancers and need to be eradicated.

    [lprent: Ah and this applies to the post – how? The post is about the public service unions and wages. I don’t remember seeing any business owners or entrepreneurs in the public services.

    Unless you’re talking about mister Double Dipton, who I guess you could say has a certain entrepreneurial flair for creatively reorganizing his finances to rort as much out of the tax payer as possible. Was that the type of investment you were talking about? But I digress..

    Warning: Don’t attempt to thread-jack or troll here. Read the policy. Unlike you I have some very effective methods of enforcing behavioral changes in people – at least if they want to comment here. ]

  5. mike 5

    WTF are the Govt doing telling public servants they need to share the pain felt by the private sector and ease up on pay rise expectations – don’t they know a Govt’s job is to dish out condoms, restrict shower pressure and legislate what kids can eat…

    • Galeandra 5.1

      “WTF are the Govt doing telling public servants they need to share the pain felt by the private sector and ease up on pay rise expectations don’t they know a Govt’s job is to dish out condoms, restrict shower pressure and legislating what kids can eat ”

      Hardly on topic, but I can understand why you feel so enthused about such things. It would seem your school days were tyrannised by the sense of your own unwashed adolescent flab even while you blew up condoms in the quad to impress the other girls. You have my sympathy.

    • Armchair Critic 5.2

      Dishing out condoms would be done to reduce unwanted pregnancies and STIs, which would, in turn, reduce the numbers of people on the DPB, the amount of time they are on the DPB and (entirley separately) the amount of funding needed for STI clinics, treatment etc. I thought you RWDHs liked less people on the DPB and less spent on health.
      The shower heads reduced flow, not pressure. Do you not know shit about fluid mechanics? Decreasing flow increases water pressure. And decreased demand for hot water reduces water rates and power bills. Or are you one of these idiots that believes in more rates and bigger power bills?
      There is a big gap between legislating what kids can eat (no one has even suugested this) and legislating what schools can sell to their kids. Unhealthy food is just that, i.e. it’s unheathly. Cigarettes and alcohol are also unhealthy. Do you think that the legislating that stops tuck shops from selling these to kids should be repealed? There would be a buck in it, after all.
      Don’t forget, the government’s job is also to tell people what they can wear, tell them (post election) the government knows how to spend their promised tax cut better than they do, use personal information for political gain and of course lie about where they live to rort extra money, all the while preaching about financial restraint.

  6. Anthony Karinski 6

    Probably part of English’s devious plan of privatising health. Lets drive those professionals over in the private sector where they get paid more and get regular pay rises. The government and those of us with deep pockets can then buy back essential services at a premium price where the private health corporations pocket a healthy profit on top of the inflated wages they pay their employees. Works like a charm in the US right, so why not in NZ.

  7. burt 7

    I’m in two minds over this. Many in the private sector have had pay cuts, some voluntary some not so voluntary.

    If doctors and teachers weren’t already so badly paid I wouldn’t be at all put out by this. The unfortunate reality here is that National inherited a bare cupboard (full of old railway junk and unopened ACC demands) and underpaid doctors, nurses, teachers etc already jumping the ditch for better pays for years.

    • chris 7.1

      True, but he shouldn’t be opening his trap saying dumb shit like this. He can slash the budgets thus forcing the public sector bosses hand, but not just come out and say “no pay rises”. As Marty said, it’s none of his business, he just signs off the departmental budgets and that’s (regarding employment matters) all he shuold do. the bureaucracy is there for a reason remember…

  8. BLiP 8

    National Ltd made clear its aspirations for the public service early on in the election campaign. Tapping into some focus group identified irrational “feeling” that there had been a burgeoning of the public service, it promised to take an axe to the bloated bureaucrats. Since then, we need only look at a few recent examples to see how vehement National Ltd has become in bullying anyone who stands in its way.

    The NIWA public relations department made short work of Nobel Prize Winner Dr Jim Salinger and sent a chilling message to other public servants who might have been tempted to speak up. ACT’s David Garrett, the Beehive’s answer to Alf Garnet, followed up when prison officers dared to take part in the democratic process. Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias got shot down in flames when suggesting policies at variance with National Ltd’s ideas of how things should be run. Compare the media response to the Chief Justice’s ideas with how it reacted to another public servant’s speech which more accurately reflected the government’s position. Then, just last week, we had Basher Bennett’s own department reminding its staff that, in fact, they were Bennett’s private servants!

    That Blinglish has joined in as well is no surprise. Nor is National Ltd’s deliberate misunderstanding of the contractual arrangements in relation to the employment of government staff. National Ltd behaves like bullies in the private sector and is continuing that trend with the public sector.

  9. Well kindergarten teachers already secured a 4% pay increase in their bargaining earlier this year and the police just won 2%. I’m pretty sure both of those are not equal to zero.

  10. Zaphod Beeblebrox 10

    Does he include himself when it comes to pay restraint? I seem to recall a new ministerial housing allowance being created last week.

  11. Brickley Paiste 11

    I’m not sure that’s quite correct.

    English isn’t a party to any of the collective agreements and therefore the obligations of good faith and good faith bargaining do not bind him. Definitely a breach of the State Sector Act though. However, in any public sector bargaining, it’s basically up to the government whether they will give the money being asked for. So English is simply saying early what he was bound to say later on: no.

    Furthermore, being obtuse isn’t necessarily a breach of good faith. It remains to be seen whether “hard bargaining” is a breach of good faith. My view is that positional bargaining is still acceptable provided the party taking that line says “We’re saying no but we’re still listening”.

    The idea that Labour will stand up is laughable. The Nats are slowly starting to chip away at the ERA 2000 and its amendments. But Labour isn’t even making the point: we’ve had a year of a Nat government with NO MEANINGFUL CHANGES TO INDUSTRIAL LAWS. Maybe they like Labour’s employment policies? Labour should be making hay out of this now. What are you going to do? When? How? Don Brash’s little committee is going to do the killing.

    Read this:

    http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/70F95C52-3D92-4C78-A212-6EF3C4FF8F2D/109483/DBSCH_SCR_4453_200910EstimatesforVoteLabour_6933_1.pdf

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago