web analytics

No good faith from Nats

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 pm, September 13th, 2009 - 25 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.

25 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

  • New record number of homes consented
    In the year ended June 2021, the actual number of new dwellings consented was 44,299, up 18 percent from the June 2020 year. In June 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings consented rose 3.8 percent. In June 2021, 4,310 new dwellings were consented, an increase of 3.8 per ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Communities backed to tackle wilding pines
    Twelve community projects across New Zealand will receive a share of $2 million to carry out wilding pine control, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor announced as part of Biosecurity Week. “Wilding pines are a serious problem that threaten many of the unique landscapes that New Zealanders value. Community groups and trusts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Health Minister Andrew Little responding to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation's rejection of ...
    I was advised last night that the result of the ballot of Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa New Zealand Nurses Organisation members have rejected the latest proposal to settle their collective agreement. Let me be clear: the proposal was one they put to the Government. The Nurses Organisation rejected their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation introduced to Parliament
    Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Introducing the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill, Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, said the measures proposed were aimed at ending conversion practices which don’t work, are widely ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New school site for booming West Auckland
    The Government will build on a new school site in West Auckland to cope with rapid population growth in the area, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Ministry is working with existing local schools to determine how the 1.5-hectare site at 279 Hobsonville Point Road will be used to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Trans-Tasman travel window to close at midnight tomorrow
    A further 500 MIQ rooms released for managed returnees from NSW Further Government actions announced today are balanced to provide more certainty for Kiwis wanting to return from Australia, while continuing to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Ayesha Verrall says. The actions were foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt investing millions in Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti schools
    Napier Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools are among those set to benefit from a $16.5 million investment in the Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti region, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash announced today. The Government has set aside money in Budget 2021 to accelerate five projects in Napier, Hastings, Havelock North ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Game changing Jobs for Nature investment for Northland
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan has announced Jobs for Nature funding for a portfolio of projects that will create ‘game changing’ gains for nature and communities across Northland/Te Tai Tokerau as part of the Government’s acceleration of the economic recovery from COVID. “This portfolio of 12 projects will see over $20 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Third COVID-19 vaccine receives provisional approval
    New Zealand’s regulatory authority Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older, Acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. New Zealand secured 7.6 million doses (enough for 3.8 million people) of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel-cancer screening programme is saving lives
    More than 1000 New Zealanders have had bowel cancer – New Zealand’s second-most-common cause of death from cancer - detected under the Government’s National Bowel Screening Programme, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. More than 1200 New Zealanders died from bowel cancer in 2017. The screening programme aims to save ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt welcomes draft report on the retail grocery sector
    The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch’s Youth Hub ‘set to go’ thanks to further Government funding
    Construction of New Zealand’s first, purpose-built centre for youth well-being is ready to get underway thanks to an extra $2.5 million of COVID-19 response funding, Housing Minister and Associate Minister of Finance, Megan Woods announced today.  “The Christchurch Youth Hub is about bringing together all the things young people need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next step to protect Milford Sound Piopiotahi
    Expert group lays out plan to better protect iconic UNESCO World Heritage site Milford Sound Piopiotahi and its surrounds Funding confirmed for dedicated unit and Establishment Board to assess the recommendations and provide oversight of the process from here Milford Opportunities Project a test case for transformational change in tourism ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for projects to reduce waste from construction and demolition
    The Government has announced funding for projects in Auckland and the lower North Island to help reduce construction and demolition waste. “Construction is the main source of waste sent to landfill, and much of this could be reduced, reused and recovered,” Environment Minister David Parker said. “The Government is funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at the launch of the National Hepatitis C Action Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you Anglesea Pharmacy and Te Manawa Taki for hosting this event. As a doctor, I saw first hand the impact of hepatitis C. I met Moana in 2019; she came to the infectious diseases outpatient clinic at Wellington Hospital having tested positive for hepatitis C. Like ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan to eliminate hepatitis C as a major health threat by 2030
    A plan to eliminate hepatitis C in New Zealand, reducing liver cancer and the need for liver transplants, has been released today by Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall. “Around 45,000 New Zealanders have hepatitis C, but only around half know they have it,” said Ayesha Verrall. “Symptoms often ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • School upgrades and new classrooms for West Coast, Tasman and Canterbury
    A funding injection from Budget 2021 to complete four shovel ready projects and new classrooms at six schools and kura will provide a real boost to local communities, Minister Dr Megan Woods announced today. “This Government has committed to providing quality fit for purpose learning environments and 100,000 new student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Warmer Kiwi Homes smashes annual target
    The Government's highly successful insulation and heating programme, Warmer Kiwi Homes, is celebrating a key milestone with the completion of more than 38,000 insulation and efficient heater installs in the year to the end of June, smashing its target of 25,000 installs for the year. “The Warmer Kiwi Homes scheme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Exemption granted for Wallabies to enter NZ
    Bledisloe Cup rugby will be played in New Zealand after the Australian rugby team received an economic exemption to enter New Zealand. Travel between Australia and New Zealand was suspended on Friday for at least eight weeks following the worsening of the COVID outbreak across the Tasman. New Zealanders have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced three New Zealand Head of Mission appointments. They are: Mike Walsh as Ambassador to Iran Michael Upton as Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union Kevin Burnett as Ambassador to Indonesia Iran “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing and constructive relationship with Iran, despite a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for West Coast and Marlborough
    The Government has activated Enhanced Task Force Green (ETFG) in response to the West Coast and Marlborough floods, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “To assist with the clean-up, up to $500,000 will be made available to support the recovery in Buller and Marlborough which has experienced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt support for upgrade of Eden Park players facilities
    Minister for Sport and Recreation Hon Grant Robertson has announced funding to upgrade the players facilities at Eden Park ahead of upcoming Women’s World Cup events. Eden Park is a confirmed venue for the Rugby World Cup 2021, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, and a proposed venue for matches of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More jobs and quicker public transport motoring towards West Auckland
    Work to improve public transport for West Aucklanders and support the region’s economic recovery by creating hundreds of jobs has officially kicked off, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff this morning marked the start of construction on the Northwestern Bus Improvements project. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backs critical health research
    Research into some of New Zealanders’ biggest health concerns including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease is getting crucial support in the latest round of health research funding, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The funding, awarded through the Health Research Council of New Zealand, covers 31 General Project grants ($36.64 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Bay of Islands hospital facilities to bring services closer to home
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little have joined a ceremony to bless the site and workers for Phase Two of the redevelopment of the Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa today. The new building will house outpatients and primary care facilities, as well as expanded renal care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Raukokore re-imagined with ‘smart’ relocatable rent to own housing
    Iwi, Crown Partnership Relocatable, fully insulated housing, connected to a new solar plant Provides a pathway to home ownership New housing in the remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokore shows how iwi and Crown agencies can work together effectively to provide warm, dry, energy efficient homes in a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cabinet accepts Turkish authorities’ request for the managed return of three NZ citizens
    Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year. Turkey has requested that New Zealand repatriate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt delivers more classrooms so children can focus on learning
    Extra Government investment in classrooms and school building projects will enable students and teachers to focus on education rather than overcrowding as school rolls grow across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis say. The pair visited Ruakākā School in Whangārei today to announce $100 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New station a platform for AirportLink to take off
    Every Aucklander with access to the rail network will now have a quick and convenient trip to the airport, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said during the official opening of the new Puhinui Interchange today. The new interchange links the rail platform with a new bus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 10 days sick leave for employees delivered
    Legislation doubling employees’ minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days comes into effect today, bringing benefits to both businesses and employees, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “Our Government is delivering on a key manifesto commitment to help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy,” Michael Wood said. “COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on Election Win
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tonight congratulated Prime Minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on her victory in the Samoa’s general election. “New Zealand has a special relationship with Samoa, anchored in the Treaty of Friendship. We look forward to working with Samoa’s new government in the spirit of partnership that characterises this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with Australia suspended
    Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. From 11.59pm today Australians will no longer be able to enter New Zealand quarantine-free. This will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing conservation efforts in Gisborne
    A big injection of Jobs for Nature funding will create much-needed jobs and financial security for families in TeTairāwhiti, and has exciting prospects for conservation in the region, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The projects target local communities most affected by the economic consequences of COVID 19 and are designed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Flood recovery given further assistance
    The Government is contributing a further $1 million to help the flood battered Buller community, Acting Emergency Management Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Buller is a small community which has found itself suddenly facing significant and ongoing welfare costs. While many emergency welfare costs are reimbursed by Government, this money ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding for five projects to reduce food waste
    The Government is funding five projects to help address the growing problem of food waste, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “New Zealand households throw away nearly 300,000 tonnes of food every year, half of which could still be eaten. By supporting these initiatives, we’re taking steps to reduce this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for West Coast flooding event
    The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated today - meaning residents on the West Coast of the South Island and in the Marlborough region hit by flooding over the weekend can now access help finding temporary accommodation, announced Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Poto Williams in Westport today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pause to Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia to New Zealand
    Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia to New Zealand will be paused from 11.59am (NZT) tonight, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. However, people currently in the state who ordinarily live in New Zealand will be able to return on “managed return” flights starting with the next available flight, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity by Chinese state-sponsored actors
    New Zealand has established links between Chinese state-sponsored actors known as Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40) and malicious cyber activity in New Zealand. “The GCSB has worked through a robust technical attribution process in relation to this activity. New Zealand is today joining other countries in strongly condemning this malicious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Remarks to Diplomatic Corps
    It is a pleasure to be with you all this evening. Some of you may have been surprised when you received an invitation from the Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control, and I would forgive you if you were. New Zealand is unique in having established a Ministerial portfolio ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Early Pfizer shipment boosts vaccine schedule
    The largest shipment of the Pfizer vaccine to date has arrived into New Zealand two days ahead of schedule, and doses are already being delivered to vaccination centres around the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “The shipment of more than 370,000 doses reached New Zealand yesterday, following a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago