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Open mike 23/07/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 23rd, 2010 - 13 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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13 comments on “Open mike 23/07/2010 ”

  1. Carol 1

    There’s a notice of a rally at Auckland Uni next Wednesday against the NACT proposed changes to Employment laws, on Socialist Aotearoa. I haven’t seen it anywhere else including here:

    http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.com/2010/07/fightback.html

    This coming Wednesday, there will be a major rally in Auckland University to launch a campaign of resistance against these cuts. Matt McCarten, General Secretary of Unite, will be joined by Sue Bradford- fighter for the rights of the unemployed, Karl Andersen, Assistant General Secretary of the NDU, and Chris Trotter- Political Commentator and author of No Left Turn.

    The rally will bring together union delegates and members, Left wing activists and students, and will plan a series of direct action responses to the bosses and the Government.

    This is the Employment Contracts Act of our Generation.
    We won’t be defeated.

    hosted by Unite on Campus (Auckland)

    7pm Weds 28th July
    Lecture Theatre B28,
    Library Basement,
    University of Auckland

    Facebook event HERE

    [lprent: Sigh… Read this. If you really want something on published on the site, then write a post in the Contribute Post button (that is what it is for). When one of us looks at it and it is well written enough with a point, then it is likely to get published as a Guest Post . We’re always looking for material for the debate. Otherwise, do what you did and put it in comments.

    But authors here write about things that they’re interested in, and we don’t take advice from anyone about what we ‘should’ be writing about. If we did try to maintain a editorial policy amongst this group of rampant individualists then I’d have to spend far too much of my time managing people. I’ve spent the last 20 years getting away from the family profession, and I’m not inclined to start doing it now. ]

    • Carol 1.1

      OK. Sorry. I didn’t realised posting something like this was outside the rules. It didn’t seem that different to me from what people normally post in the open mile section. My mistake.

  2. prism 2

    Stupid, lax, ineffective New Zealand legislation No. 64,000.

    Drunk driver recidivists are generally not being forced to work on their driving methods, or their addictions because only one class of legal ruling requires that and is used infrequently – withdrawal of licence for an indefinite period (which can be just one year plus one day). No wonder we have such a problem with these people. Hear RadioNZ 9toNoon? this morning.

    But because of our incredibly sloppy social management in this country, we end up having lots of punitive treatment of offenders who advance up the recidivist scale with no or little intervention to change the behaviour. Then the police get to carry out exciting, fun chases – fast acceleration through the towns with a whoosh and a roar, with sirens on and flashing lights. Bit like those mocking USA police films showing exaggerated responses with one hundred cars.

    That’s sort of funny but our real-life problem in this country results in injuries and deaths not chuckles. To chase, or not to chase that is the question! With better practices and controls for prevention, police work could change emphasis from traffic cop-ing to controlling or preventing other crimes.

    It seems as I’ve said before, that we need a practical group of citizens elected to deal with ineffective or wildly ideological legislation and make it work for the betterment of the country. Like an expanded Law Commission with community representation similar to school trustee groups, but with a deliberate balance of people from different groups. Parliament would make the laws, but we would be able to finetune them. That way the community wanting less liquor outlets, less draw-off of water sources etc. would have some grunt in their area, and also would be able to press for needed improvements.

    There would be an overview of the functioning of the area including the local council and central government functioning. There wouldn’t be the same moral hazard that pollies have of needing funds to try and get into the positions of power. The make up of this body would change by half every two years, and have clear legal controls. What we have is a ridiculously expensive bunch of half-baked ideas, spending big on planning or instituting projects which are then abandoned or found untenable by their replacements, who go through the same mind-numbing process resulting in the populace eternally in ferment, (but no fine beverage results).

    • Bored 2.1

      I agree with you about punitive responses being what we Kiwis do best when a little common sense and applied wisdom might get us a real result. Perhaps we dont really want to cure anything, we just like punishing people.

  3. The Voice of Reason 3

    I see the EPMU is setting the trend again with their ‘Metals’ multi employer agreement. Bugger the withered hand of the free market, it obviously pays to be in the union if you want a real pay rise. This is the EPMU press release:

    ‘Metals’ MECA settles:

    Nearly 2000 engineering and manufacturing workers will have pay increases above inflation and an extra day holiday in 2011 after EPMU members voted overwhelmingly to ratify the Metals and Manufacturing multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) today.

    The new agreement provides for a 3% increase on all printed wages and allowances this year, followed by a 3% increase next year, and a one-off holiday to acknowledge that, for the first time, Anzac Day will fall on the same day as the Easter Monday holiday in 2011.

    “This is a good outcome for members. Our aim was to get them a pay rise above inflation at a time when prices are rising and the government has announced a GST hike, which will hit workers’ pay packets,’ says Andrew Little, EPMU national secretary.

    “EPMU members around the country responded strongly to our argument that they deserve the extra holiday in 2011, so we’re pleased the employer parties have agreed this as well,’ he says.

    “The trend-setting Metals agreement is now set to grow, with EPMU members at other sites organising to join its coverage’, he says.

    “If small to medium enterprises can offer a 3% pay rise and an extra day of holiday then there’s no reason why larger, more profitable employers can’t do better,’ he says.

    The Metals and Manufacturing MECA is the EPMU’s largest multi-employer collective agreement, representing nearly 2000 workers at 120 firms.

    • Bill 3.1

      3% or CPI for next year; whichever is the greater, might have been a prudent move. But hey.

      • Bored 3.1.1

        Bill, see you put whatever is the greater, prudence indeed, we might get deflation. Smart man.

        • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1.1

          Good points, Bill and Bored.

          I’ve just had a look at the Reserve bank and treasury forecasts for the June quarter next year and both think inflation will be 4-5% at that time. Treasury is picking the GST increase will peak at 5.9% in March, then drop to 3% by September. The RB reckons it will not peak as high (5.3%) but will stay there longer.

          Either way, the deal seems likely to at least take most of the pain of the GST rise away, something the pathetic PAYE tax cut cannot do.

          • Herodotus 3.1.1.1.1

            TVOR re GST not nettin goff with PAYE, did not every previous govt do the same, some in more suttle ways than others. I just loved getting cost of living adjustments then watching tax creep reduce this to below cost of living, Petrol exercise, and even the annual increase in alcohol, the increase brought on by a blunt OCR that hit all areas of NZ not just those reported to be the cause of inflation. Who ever leads or govt next year or 4 years time, lik edeath and taxes our cost of living will increase at a greater rate than the Labour Cost index (And no this is not the increase/decrease of wages caused by Labours policies as spun by National) :mrgreen:

            • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re onto it, H.

              Unions generally use the ‘non tradeables’ portion of the official inflation rate when justifying wage claims. This is the part of the CPI that measures the things that matter most to the majority of us, such as food, power, transport and housing costs. These things usually run at a rate roughly half as much again as the overall CPI. So if inflation at the moment is 2%, the cost of the basics will be increasing at closer to 3%.

              For all that, the EPMU metals deal is still good value, especially compared to non unionised workers who have got nothing this year or last and have lost 2-4 % of their purchasing power as a result. I still like the Aussie system though, where a basic wage movement is settled nationally for each industry and then unions get larger increases on the job, based on each business’ ability to pay.

              Without a similar system here, we are never going to close the wage (and benefits) gap with Oz.

              • loota

                Without a similar system here, we are never going to close the wage (and benefits) gap with Oz.

                I suspect we will have to start earning and retaining foreign currency at a similar rate to the Australians before we will be able to afford a system similar to the Australians, which will then allow us to close the wage and benefits gap.

  4. prism 4

    I understand that Christine Rankin is standing as a councillor in the Auckland elections. I don;t think she is going for mayor though.

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