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Ports of Auckland wage numbers

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 pm, January 11th, 2012 - 136 comments
Categories: Economy, Unions, wages - Tags:

Helen Kelly on Facebook says (I’ve reformatted the text into paragraphs) :-

The Port has finally provided some salary figures for the workers at the port and it is an interesting change of position. The first position was that Port workers earn an average of $91,000 for a 26 hour week. This was widely publicised and is now being so seriously challenged they have been flushed out to provide the correct informaion.

Now it appears the $91,000 is for a 49 hour week and this includes superannuation, medical insurance etc. Assuming the superannuation is 7% then $6,370 of this is a super subsidy, leaving an avearage annual salary of $84,000. Given these “average” workers are working 22.5% more hours than a “normal working week” of 40 hours, then $20,475 of this salary can be considered payment for the extra working hours.

This leaves an avearage wage of $64,155 which includes medical insurance. The union says a stevedores guarantee for 40 hours per week is $1,090.40 = $56,700.80 per annum @ 260 shifts per year.

Regardless, the position has changed dramatically since the Ports first shots rasing questions about the other information they are using to disguise the agenda to make permanent workers into casuals. It would be great if the Port could provide the avearage salary of the 20% of casuals workers they employ at the port by hours worked?

Just to remind you again. These are ballpark figures that I lifted lifted from facebook because it tallies with my rough estimates. They are not a definitive position.

This was probably in response to this comment by the Catherine Etheredge of the Ports of Auckland

In response to Craig of Glen Eden –

I can confirm that the average remuneration for a full time stevedore, in the year ended June 30, 2011, was $91,480. The average remuneration for a part time stevedore (guaranteed at least 24 hours work a week) was $65,518.

53% of full time stevedores (123 individuals) earned over $80,000. 28% (43 individuals) earned over $100,000 with the highest earner making $122,000.

The averages were calculated by POAL’s payroll team based on actual payments, including for leave days, medical insurance and superannuation contributions. (For employees covered by the collective agreement, POAL matches their superannuation contributions up to a maximum of 7%.) We excluded those who had worked for less than the full 12 months e.g. had left part way through the year.

Employees are also entitled to 15 days sick leave per annum, accruing up to 45 days. All shift workers are entitled to five weeks annual leave. Training for all stevedoring tasks (crane driving, straddle driving and lashing) is undertaken in house and is paid for by the company.

One question that has been asked is how many hours you have to work to earn that $91,000. Stevedores who earned the average $91,000 in the 2010/11 financial year were paid for an average of 43 hours per week, excluding leave days. If you factor leave days in, that increases to 49 hours per week.

This leads to the key issue for the company – the high amount of paid downtime – an average of 35% of total hours paid. An employee getting paid for a 43 hour week is only working around 28 hours; for a 40 hour week, 26 hours. In a busy week, employees get paid for 66.5 hours but can only work for a maximum of 44.5.

On Monday 9 January, to give a recent example, we paid 26 staff a total of $5,484,80 for downtime, because they were entitled to be paid until the end of their set eight hour shift even though the ship had finished & they had gone home. In another example employees worked two hours of an overtime shift but were paid for the full eight hours.

This is not a cost-efficient nor sustainable labour model, especially when the company is not covering its cost of capital, cannot therefore justify further investment in order to grow, and its closest competitor has a labour utilisation rate in excess of 80%. (At Port of Tauranga stevedores start and finish work when a ship arrives and departs).

The company has offered an upfront 10% increase to hourly rates along with the retention of existing terms and conditions in return for more flexible rosters which would significantly reduce the amount of paid downtime. Employees would have the opportunity to plan their roster a month in advance. This proposal would result in a people being remunerated for fewer overall hours at a higher rate than they would currently get for the same paid hours. To be fair, until such time as container volumes recover/improve, the 10% increase to hourly rates would not (as some commentators have suggested) push average remuneration over $100K.

And this follow up clarification.

mickysavage – we did not include one off payments such as redundancy – the averages were calculated only on current employees who worked the full year.

The figures first appeared in a POAL advertisement in The Shipping Gazette on 26 November 2011. I sent them to Cactus Kate after she emailed me asking for them. There were no conditions.

All very interesting.


136 comments on “Ports of Auckland wage numbers”

  1. RedLogix 1

    The crucial point that needs to be understood is this; the employer PoAL is effectively seeking to transfer the variable work flow risk from the company onto the workers.

    In essence it wants the workers to be available for work (and NOT available for anything else)…. without paying them for it.

  2. Hi Lynn

    The figures really smell.  As I have said before though the Union should have prepared an early response and publicized it.  There is a response of sorts here but they need to boil it right down to slogan sized bytes.

    POAL should release its calculations.  There is a line item there which blows the figures out to beyond what a wharfie could earn given their hourly rate.

    The thing that really interests is the intense hatred that some have for the suggestion that a worker may be in a (somewhat) privileged position yet at the same time think that their ilk (capitalists) ought to be able to earn without limit.

    It really does show to me they think they are better than the rest of us. 

    • Cactus Kate 2.1

      Rolling out the big guns in Helen Kelly does signal MUNZ are, as you say Mickey and have done all along……woefully inept.

      They are now coming late to the party via the only this blog really and have descended into an unwinnable debate about how a 91k figure has been calculated. Completely confusing wage and salary definitions, taxable income and benefits. Lies, damn lies and framing.

      Forgetting of course most NZers dont have super contributions, family medical insurance, massive sick leave and redundancy provisions. It’s irrelevant now how the number is calculated because it is 91k, most working class New Zealanders can’t relate to that and therefore are wondering what MUNZ are moaning about.

      But then being a key member in Labour politics I know you understand this completely.

      All that would top off a “great” week strategically for the left would be if Darien Fenton poked her nose in. The “RWNJ” as you call them, are waiting.

      [lprent: FFS don’t you read the actual posts?. I picked that quote off facebook. It was some back of the envelope calcs that Kelly had done on facebook. I thought I’d made that absolutely clear in the post.

      Ummm my guess is that a lot of this non-reading of posts is from RSS – because my feeder only shows the first edit (a paragraph got deleted by accident). The second edit was a couple of minutes later. Changing the RSS to only spit out excerpts. We’ll see if that improves the standard of reading. ]

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        Completely confusing wage and salary definitions, taxable income and benefits. Lies, damn lies and framing.

        Only because lies and confusion suit your case. Otherwise it’s perfectly obvious if you apply some real world experience and think about it for a few moments.

        It’s irrelevant now how the number is calculated because it is 91k, most working class New Zealanders can’t relate to that and therefore are wondering what MUNZ are moaning about.

        Ah … the politics of envy. Another rightie with one hammer…

      • Psycho Milt 2.1.2

        Next up, PoAL could issue the average remuneration for management, loaded up with all the extras, and we could all jump to ill-informed conclusions about how over-paid they are, while we’re at it. Seems only fair. Feel free to do the same for your own salary Kate, seeing as you’ve such strong opinions on how much other people’s jobs are worth.

        • DavidW

          Relevant Psycho – how pray tell? Now if (and it is an enormous IF) poerts management was in dispute with POAL over remuneration and conditions AND this dispute was strangling the Port and threatening thousands of people’s livelihoods and the rates on every property in Auckland City, there would be legitimate and public interest in what they are paid, what conditions they are employed under and most importantly what POAL was trying to chieve with proposed changes.

          But they are not, and there is not as it is a nonsnse to dry and distract the discussion in such an obvius way.

      • lprent 2.1.3

        Perhaps you should catch up with the real world a bit Kate.

        Most people expect and usually have rates for shift work and overtime. It is frequently the only way that employers can get people to stay on evening and night shifts. Kiwisaver has a contribution from employers. Many jobs have a subsidised health insurance scheme – that in large part is how Southern Cross makes their money.

        None of those things are usually factored into what people consider to be the normal wage rate. They are all extras and usually may be withdrawn without a lot of notice. Mostly they are used to attract people to jobs. In this case to running a 24/7/365.25 operation with rotating shifts.

        But thats right, you’re from Hong Kong. So perhaps you’re describing that state?

    • lprent 2.2

      …the Union should have prepared an early response and publicized it.

      Yeah, but the problem is that the PoA has the employment records with hours worked etc. The union would have only been able to highlight individual workers and theoretical wage costs. For the types of stats that the PoA fed out to Cactus you need the actual employment records, and there really is no easy way to check them.

      Of course the union may have gotten the books as part of the good faith bargaining. However it appears clear that there has been little good faith going on from the PoA side. It looks to me like someone over there got a bee in their bonnet about “flexible labour” without bothering to figure out how little they’d gain from it. If I had to guess I’d say that there is the usual management dork coming in with a “new broom” approach and wanting to leave their mark without bothering to use their brain.

      Typical corporate dickheads, and the main reason I don’t work for corporates any more. I could never get anything finished and delivered because they keep changing things because no-one wants to do the hard work of actually managing. They prefer to look good rather than work good.

  3. J Mex 3

    Helen Kelly:

    Given these “average” workers are working 22.5% more hours than a “normal working week” of 40 hours,

    No they are not. If these figures are correct, they are being paid for more than 40 hours not working more than 40 hours.

    See here:

    An employee getting paid for a 43 hour week is only working around 28 hours; for a 40 hour week, 26 hours. In a busy week, employees get paid for 66.5 hours but can only work for a maximum of 44.5

    Lprent, aren’t you smart enough not to have missed this rather crucial flaw in Kelly’s response?

    • RedLogix 3.1

      I used to work in the paper mills. After you were there for a short while you noticed that the paper machine crew often spent up to 7 hours of an 8 hour shift sitting in their smoko room …playing cards, cooking up astonishing stews and generally trying not to go bored witless.

      I asked the Chief Papermaker about this one day and his reply was something like, “That’s where I want them, because when they are there the machine is making money”.

      Yet without these workers sitting on their butts most of the time, the mill would never run for more than a few hours. In this case the company was more than happy to pay it’s crews for apparently doing NOTHING most of the time.

      But crucially they also had to be AVAILABLE at anytime in their shift. If the sheet broke, they’d drop everything and be onto it within seconds.

      Now I realise a port is not the same as a paper mill. It’s a somewhat different scenario, but the port still needs workers AVALIABLE to operate. Ships arrive anytime in a 24/7 period, in variable numbers. The port needs workers AVAILABLE to match that variable workflow….just like a paper machine creates a variable workflow, on a somewhat more extreme basis.

      Some weeks they will be flat out, other weeks could be very thin. In other words there is an inherent work flow risk in the business.

      What PoAL is trying to do is transfer that risk from the company… to it’s workers.

    • lprent 3.2

      Lprent, aren’t you smart enough not to have missed this rather crucial flaw in Kelly’s response?

      Don’t be daft. It is a management problem in scheduling the workload and balancing the workforce, and a absolutely standard problem in operation research. Which if you recall was my major in the MBA. It isn’t significantly different to scheduling a queue at store, bank or factory. Just more complex.

      What they don’t say is that some days they’re working for more than 12 hours and other days there is limited work. But in any case the permanent workers are there when required. When vessels arrive isn’t usually that certain until a few days ahead of their arrival (and never has been and probably never will due to weather and other delays). So you wind up with a probability model. These days the contents of the vessels are much better known so it is possible to estimate more accurately the amount of work.

      The incoming side from land is probably more of a continuous demand and I suspect provides the baseload.

      As I understand it, the current agreement with MUNZ allows for about half of the work force to casual or on-call. That should be ample for them to have a flexible workforce.

      In a lot of ways there is a hell of a lot more room to ensure a even flow by providing incentives for vessels about when they dock to ensure a more steady stream of work.

      But overall, I’d have to say that to my eye, there looks like a hell of a lot of scope to optimize the workflows to keep people busy and to smooth out the peaks. So far the only people I have seen talking about those types of management optimisations are the union.

      In a capital intensive environment like the ports, the costs are in under utilized capital equipment. Dicking about with limited savings from Labour when they already have a flexible workforce sounds more to me as being a case of lousy managers.

      The more numbers that the PoA puts up, the more I think that they really need to get some really good OR people in there to help out. And before anyone gets bright ideas – not me – I’m a programmer. I optimize code and I got out of management because I found people were so boring in the way that they repeat mistakes.

    • So basically, J Mex, if I understand you correctly, what you’re saying is that a maritime worker turns up for his (or her) job on a Monday mnorning – but if there’s no ship in port – otr the ship is a day late – the worker doesn’t get paid?

      Gosh, would you be willing to turn up on a Monday morning but not get paid unless a customer walks in through the door?

      I damn well suspect not!

      So why are you so down on other peoples’ jobs when (a) it is no business of yours and (b) you’re still probably paid whether youi’re working or not.

      Maybe firefighters should be paid only when called out to actually fight a blaze? Hmmmm, I can see where that would lead us.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    The minimum time periods are there to ensure that going to work is actually of benefit to the worker (ie, paid enough to cover the cost of going to work) and so this would seem to indicate that PoAL are looking to dump the expenses associated with going to work onto the workers themselves rather than cover the costs in the wages. A counter offer from the union could be something like this:-

    1.) Two hours full pay when called in
    2.) Workers to be paid for the time they work
    3.) An increase in pay to cover the lower hours
    4.) All other benefits to remain the same

    That should give PoAL the flexibility that they require while not shafting the workers for the costs of going to work.

  5. J Mex 5

    Helen Kelly’s response needs to be more accurately modified to something along these lines…

    “Now it appears the $91,000 is for working a 28 hour week and this includes superannuation, medical insurance etc. Assuming the superannuation is 7% then $6,370 of this is a super subsidy, leaving an avearage annual salary of $84,000.

    Given these “average” workers are working 30% less hours than a “normal working week” of 40 hours, then their 40 hour wage is somewhere around $109,000, plus superannuation of $6k.”

    • RedLogix 5.1

      I’ve answered you at 3.1 above. As KJT pointed out earlier it’s exactly the same as shop assistants… or any number of other jobs with variable workflows…do you pay them only for the time they are actually serving customers?

      • J Mex 5.1.1

        You provided an answer, but it was a fiction from your head, which seems at odds with the actual source…

        “we paid 26 staff a total of $5,484,80 (sp) for downtime, because they were entitled to be paid until the end of their set eight hour shift even though the ship had finished & they had gone home

        I wouldn’t expect to pay shop assistants who had gone home.

        • KJT

          Of course you would.

          If you sent them home half way through the day, because you could not organise something for them to do.

        • RedLogix

          So what. They still had to be available for that whole 8 hour shift. Anytime of the day or night. They may have been called in to work for just 2hrs from midnight to 2 am.

          Availability is the crux of this argument.

          I wouldn’t expect to pay shop assistants who had gone home.

          The workers were sent home; they didn’t just go home because they didn’t feel like working. They had made themselves available for the whole shift, it’s the company who chose not to utilise them.

        • Frank Macskasy

          J Mex, you obviously aren’t familiar with employment or contract law.

          If you have rostered a staff member on for , say, 4 hours and after 2 hours there is no more work available, then you can allow them to go home. But you must pay them the full 4 hours. That’s because a rostered shift is a contract “to offer”. By turning up, the staff member has accepted your offer. S/he then works the 4 hours as you stipulted.

          If the staff member decides to leave of his/her own accord, before the full 4 hour shift is worked, you are entitled to pay them only for time worked. Not the full 8 hours. (Because the worker has broken the contract.)

          If you send the worker home early, then s/he is still entitled to be be paid fully ‘cos YOU have “broken” the contract – not him/her.

          Basic employment law.

          • J Mex

            Frank and Redlogix,

            I am familiar with employment law.

            You are both correct, The shop/port company did have to pay them.

            The point is, when the shop/port company comes to renegotiate the new employment agreement, it would seem sensible for the shop/port company to say “hey, we are consistently sending you home early, and since it is time to renegotiate a new agreement, we would like to change it as it doesn’t make sense to us to pay you for all of those hours when you go home”

            When the union responds ” Nah, we’ll keep the home pay thanks, and we’ll take a small payrise”, you can see where they have departed with reality.

            • RedLogix

              Well yes.. but the problem is more subtle than that.

              The workers are NOT being sent home early on a consistent basis. The problem is some shifts are only a couple of hours, other are full shifts and some turn out to be double shifts.

              And the workers get little or no forward notice of this.

              And meanwhile whether they are on site or not, their employer still expects workers to be available to work at whatever time of day suits the company. But not want to pay for it.

              • Colonial Viper

                Sounds like a workplace completely unable to successfully plan and schedule its workloading.

                Which is odd since I find it hard to believe that the port cannot predict with 80% plus accuracy what needs to be loaded and unloaded, 72 hours in advance.

                It appears that POAL is intending to take the lazy way out of its operational management challanges. Being able to use workers as they wish without recompense will make POAL’s work planning and scheduling even lazier.

              • J Mex

                The figures provided by the port, show that the workers are literally working 30% less than the hours they are being paid for.

                There are other workers at the port who are providing a more flexible service (part time and casual). These other workers are obviously making it work for them. Unless the current permanents can make it work for them, or suggest something that works for the port, they will lose their jobs, as their agreement has run out.

                Can these guys get jobs elsewhere at $91k working less than 30 hours? I doubt that. They will lose their $91k unless they can come back with something that works for the port. Because the port has other workers that can be more flexible, and can find others.

                • lprent

                  Are you comparing apples with apples? For instance do the other ports run a 24/7 operation? Or as I suspect from the volumes, do they just operate in daylight and evening.

                  Otherwise the basis of what you are comparing is bullshit.

                  Most service jobs operate with rather large idle periods unless the management are doing their job correctly.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Substantial idle periods giving utilisation rates significantly less than 100% are critical for a smooth running operation.

                    No one thinks that having CPU and RAM utilisation constantly at 100% is good for the usability of a system.

                    Exactly the same with a maritime port.

                    This all leads me to the conclusion that the CEO and Board of POAL are incompetent. Also, it appears to me as if the Council has set POAL unrealistic profitability targets that it will find extremely difficult to meet without everyone being screwed in the medium and long term.

                    • J Mex

                      It doesn’t matter what I think, LPrent thinks, or CV thinks.

                      The port workers agreement has run out.
                      The port no longer wants to operate under the agreement
                      Unless the permanent port workers can agree to new terms, the port will find workers (some of which it has already) that are more flexible.
                      The union reps need to get much closer with their offer, or everyone loses their $91k per annum.

                      That is the cold hard reality. And as much as people say it is hard, we do it every day in our own lives. E.g. A supplier (business or personal) isn’t working out for us any more. A new supplier has a better option for us. When we are no longer under contract, we shift, unless our supplier can match or better the terms.

                      [I agree with your sentiments. Incidentally your right to post here has run out. We no longer like what you say and unless you can match out new terms to only post material supportive of the left… we no longer require your services for the next month. Cold hard reality… RL]

                      [Besides you can’t even multiply …]

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      There aren’t an infinite amount of trained stevedores around for PoAL to choose from. In fact, they probably already employ all of the available ones so they can’t go off and get another supply.

            • Frank Macskasy

              The point is, when the shop/port company comes to renegotiate the new employment agreement, it would seem sensible for the shop/port company to say “hey, we are consistently sending you home early, and since it is time to renegotiate a new agreement, we would like to change it as it doesn’t make sense to us to pay you for all of those hours when you go home”

              When the union responds ” Nah, we’ll keep the home pay thanks, and we’ll take a small payrise”, you can see where they have departed with reality.

              And why shouldn’t the Union oppose measures that it’s members do not want? The Union is there is look after their members’ interests, first and foremost.

              Just as if I had a lawyer negotiating a contract on my behalf, s/he would also be looking after my interests. After al;l, I pay the lawyer their fees – not the prospective employer.

  6. Cactus Kate 6

    This is getting boring. Neither side can prove their statistics to the satisfaction of the other. You will all never accept the POAL figure and can’t disprove it anyway.

    I demand an audit.

    Peter Kiely on one side, Iron Mike Williams on the other, in front of a Judge John Adams with the Payroll in question.

    We know how that ended last time.

    • daveo 6.1

      Who are you to demand anything? Some chick who’s “big” on the interwebz? Get a life you dweeb.

      • Cactus Kate 6.1.1

        Always far more important than some anonymous dickwad who comments on the interwebz then pretends he’s too cool to be reading everything bloggers write.

        [Pulling the ‘I am better than you because I use my real name and you do not’ line always attracts moderation here. .. We prefer bloggers to remain anonymous…RL]

    • KJT 6.2

      The pay rates, now! are irrelevant.

      What it is all about is what the ports want to do to pay rates and working hours in the future.

      And that is why they are prepared to take on the cost of trying to break the Union now.

      If they succeed, longer term we will all suffer, both wage earners and small business.

    • Weird Cactus.  What relevance is there in a miscounted booth?

    • Kate, we used to have impartial “auditors” way-back-when. They were called the Arbitration Court.

  7. Hulun Shearer 7

    [I agree. You should not be commenting here. Permanently banned…RL]

    [lprent: Yeah. Contributes nothing intelligent. Just spits bile without a semblance of humour. Doesn’t engage with people replying to his comments.
    Troll now added to the auto-spam queue. ]

  8. Funny thing about all this talk of wages… what business is it of others?

    I mean, not one singly critic of the maritime workers divulges his/her pay to the public. But right wingers seem to feel the need to poke their noses into other peoples’ business. Talk about Big brotherism/Nanny Statism – from the Right!

  9. Jenny 9

    As Ports Of Auckland Ltd. prepare to contract out their work, and make union members jobs redundant.

    Employees of Xbox contractor, Foxconn, theaten mass suicide

    Microsoft’s Phil Spencer was so moved by the above events, to wax lyrical on the miracle of contracting out.

    “Foxconn has been an important partner of ours and remains an important partner. I trust them as a responsible company to continue to evolve their process and work relationships.
    “That is something we remain committed to – the safe and ethical treatment of people who build our products. That’s a core value of our company.”

    Phil Spencer

  10. tc 10

    POA and Tauranga appear differences in so far as one has management able to work collaboratively with it’s work force and a board that understands the market, industry and what’s realistic in terms of a win-win.

    Yet another engineered situation by wodders, Key and their backers with akl the loser again, by the way where is the Hideous one these days ?

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      ” by the way where is the Hideous one these days ?”

      We’ll find out in a few months time most likely, once cabinet gets around to appointing him a plum position somewhere.

      • Jenny 10.1.1

        For all his hideousness, at least he was able to win an election at least once in his life. But unfortunately when it comes to plum government appointments, he is likely to be pipped at the post by the unelectable yet ineluctable darling of the far right, Don Brash.

  11. QoT 11

    What I think it comes down to is this: anyone who wants to have a go at what the stevedores are paid is more than welcome to give up their obviously Terrible Hard Jobs Which They Sacrifice Themselves To For The Good Of Society and try stevedoring. Then they may speak from experience.

    I, personally, am not paid nearly as well as a stevedore … for my desk job with good job security and standardised hours and minimal risk of physical injury or strain in a nice air-conditioned office. I have noooooooooooooo fucking intention of trying stevedoring.

    Why I’m paid substantially more than a lot of teachers and nurses, well, there’s a fucking outrage.

    • lprent 11.1

      Why I’m paid substantially more than a lot of teachers and nurses, well, there’s a fucking outrage.

      Must be the cheerful and charming personality. *ducks*

      People tend to pay me to work at my hobbies. This one unfortunately doesn’t.

  12. Ed 12

    Total remuneration costs is not he same as most people count as pay. Yes most workers do get sick leave and annual leave and paid statutory holidays, and a very large number get subsidised superannuation. Will we find that they also included a share of the costs of the payroll team in that $91,000 number?

  13. “I, personally, am not paid nearly as well as a stevedore … for my desk job with good job security and standardised hours and minimal risk of physical injury or strain in a nice air-conditioned office. I have noooooooooooooo fucking intention of trying stevedoring.”

    Ditto, mate. I’ve seen enough of their dangerous, dirty work to know that I’ll leave it to them. They are professionals and should be remunerated accordingly.

  14. Some video, photographs and commentary from the picket lines in the last few days here-

  15. James 111 15

    At the end of the day this is the average hourly rate when you take into account the Actual number of hours they work, including stand down time which they get paid for. They appear to be very well paid, and looking at their Hourly rate very able to give concessions to make Auckland Port as Productive as Tauranga

    » 35% of hours paid are for when there is no work to be done, so those 43 paid hours, on average only 28 hours are actually worked.
    » This means the effective pay per hour worked is an average of $62.50 per hour ($91,000/52/28).

    $62.50 an hour equivalent for actual hours work not bloody bad getting right up there in the hourly rate stakes. No wonder they want to hang onto that for as long as possible.

    • RedLogix 15.1

      Start engaging with the debate. Repeating nonsense is getting irksome.

      the average hourly rate when you take into account the Actual number of hours they work, including stand down time which they get paid for.

      You start out by including ‘stand-down’ time, then when you make your utterly specious ‘average’ hourly rate calculation… you don’t.

      And expected me not to notice.

      • James 111 15.1.1

        At the end of the day Mayor Len Brown the Mayor the left fully supportted and wanted in power of the Super City has said he wants a better return from POA.

        It isnt even covering its cost of capital expenditure. Its productivity has taken a slide when Tauranga has increased. Its dividend has more than halved over 10 years as stated by Brain Gaynor on TV 1 on Tuesday night, when Taurangas has soared. He also stated there has been some managment issues as well as worker ,and productivity issues.

        The company has now been put in a position by Mayor Len Brown where they have to deliver for him ,and also the Rate Payers of Auckland because their divdend is not good enough when compared with like operations less than 2.5 hours away by car.

        The Company knows it has a wage cost issue due to workers claiming full pay on stand down hours. This doenst happen in Taurnanga yet they are more efficent not only in cost but also in crane speed load ,and unload. Data supplied yesterday by Catherine Etheridge.

        If you were the CEO of POA wouldnt you be looking at the Tauranga model very carefully to deliver a better result for the rate payers of Auckland? I would.
        If I was Mr Parsloe I would be looking very hard at how the Union can lift their productivity give a little so they can become competitive. The Longer this goes on will only be one loser and it wont POA

        • RedLogix

          It isnt even covering its cost of capital expenditure. Its productivity has taken a slide when Tauranga has increased.

          Last I looked it was returning 6.1% on capital invested. Probably about right for an operation of this sort. And a lot better than many other ports in the world apparently.

          The Company knows it has a wage cost issue due to workers claiming full pay on stand down hours.

          A basic right every employee has. It’s simple employment law. If your employer requires you to be available for work, even if you aren’t actually working… you must be paid for it.

          • James 111

            It might have been a right 10 years ago but now its an uncompetitive model when its compared against its competitor. Things have to change for POA to keep business. They cant remian the same

            • RedLogix

              Again I ask you where you logic takes you. Because if PoAL become ‘competitive’ with Tauranga, what will they do? Find a way to cut their labour costs even more, move towards total casualisation of their labour.

              Go back to the really bad old days of labour pools standing around outside the gates each morning?

              And when that get’s ‘uncompetitive’… then what? Have a think about what you are asking for.

              And BTW .. been to your boss demanding that pay cut yet?

              • James 111

                If they were competitive even very close the companies wouldnt move. It costs to much money to move for very little gain.Thats where I am coming from. There is only so much efficency you can drive out of a business clearly POA isnt at that threshold yet

                • RedLogix

                  Well given that labour is a relatively small portion of the costs in a very capital intensive industry…. it would make a great deal of sense to start elsewhere rather than go down the path of casualising their labour. More intelligent things like managing your workflows better.

                  ie.. Management doing what they are supposed to be doing.

                  And again… had that conversation with your boss yet? Or are pay cuts for competitiveness just for other people James?

                  • James 111

                    I work for myself if I dont sell I dont earn. If I work very hard I can earn more its a good measure to live by

                    • RedLogix

                      Right so you are self-employed. So was I for many years.

                      Fine. But you could get more business if you cut your price? You could be more ‘competitive’ if you worked for 20% less. No?

                      Or you could go to your customers/clients and point out to them that they could get a cheaper, more ‘competitive’ service elsewhere?

                      Lots of foggy Friday’s where you are I guess.

        • Zetetic

          Does the road outside your house cover its cost of capital in profits?


          So, why do we expect the same of another piece of infrastructure?

          The point of infrastructure is to be the framework for economic activity, not to be a leach on it with high charges.

          And, anyway, looks like POAL is making a decent return.

          • James 111

            Return has halved over the last 10 years as explained by Brian Gaynor on TV 1 Tuesday night. Tauranga has soared. Return is not enough for Mayor Len Brown, dividend is not enough for Rate Payers of Auckland. Return has to be at least the same as your nearest competitor or you have a problem hasnt been for years. That is why they are losing business cost is to high

        • DavidW

          Idly curious thought, I wonder what Mr Parsloe’s salary, allowances, benefits and redundancy provisions are. Anyone clarify?

          • The Voice of Reason

            It’s not just your curiosity that’s idle, David. Your brain seems to be stuck in neutral, too. Parsloe is a paid employee of the union. Like most union officials, he will be on a salary that is significantly less than the HR wonks he faces across the table, and, at a guess, about a tenth of what the CEO currently destroying POAL gets.

          • Frank Macskasy

            What’s your salary, DavidW?

            While you’re at it; and just to show how ridiculous this is getting; please supply details of your bank accounts, investments; share portfolios; etc.

            I bet you won’t.

            • DavidW

              That is the sort of tripe we have come to expect of you Frank. It is relevant because Parsloe is a major player in this dispute. The Ports CEO has had his remuneration questioned and displayed, disputed and judged, presumably his pay is relevant to some. Why is Parsloe exempt from scutiny? Presumably he continues to be paid from cash reserves of the Union while the “useful idiots” he manipulates are earning zip. He is being paid to disrupt a major cog in the trade infrastrructure of this country.

              I, as an affected party would like to know a bit more about this bloke and whether or not the members who have funded his lifestyle are unanimous about their desire to destroy their jobs and their futures. I would also be interested in knowing what is the rationale behing there being no secret ballots, just shows of hands in the voting.

              Way back when many more unions were being run by individuals with rhetoric very reminiscent of Mr Parsloe’s, a secret ballot was a mechanism designed to bully and strongarm, to falsely claim unanimity and to plant fear in the hearts of those who might disagree with the proposal. And yes Frank, I have been threatened with physical violence that could lead to fatal consequences for having my own thoughts and for expressing them so have few misconceptions about union tactics.

              • The Voice of Reason

                “Way back when many more unions were being run by individuals with rhetoric very reminiscent of Mr Parsloe’s, a secret ballot was a mechanism designed to bully and strongarm, to falsely claim unanimity and to plant fear in the hearts of those who might disagree with the proposal.”
                You’re an idiot, David, you can’t even keep your canards straight. You mean ‘show of hands’, not secret ballot.
                And who says there wasn’t a secret ballot? Only Whale and Farrar, channelling Thatcher. And who cares anyway? The internal workings of the union are none of your business. If the rules required a secret ballot, then I’m sure an actual union member will complain. But they’re not complaining, they’re striking. They are voting with their feet, and their wallets. There’s your answer.

  16. Sanctuary 16

    The $91,000 dollar figure is the sort of number you get thrown at you from HR la la land when you ask for a pay rise. It is a fantasy number made up of the most extreme and unlikely things all pulled together by craven sociopaths (who gravitate into HR like moths to a flame) eager to toady to the boss by giving him or her whatever idiocy they demand to justify their latest attempt at management by fiat.

    • RedLogix 16.1

      Exactly. My employer costs me at in internal charge out rate of about $150 per hour. But that’s nothing like what I’m actually paid.

      Although curiously it was about what I charged as a contractor…. but then that had to cover a whole bunch of costs.

      • J Mex 16.1.1


        You my want to read the post again. The methodology is pretty much spelled out:

        “The averages were calculated by POAL’s payroll team based on actual payments, including for leave days, medical insurance and superannuation contributions. (For employees covered by the collective agreement, POAL matches their superannuation contributions up to a maximum of 7%.) We excluded those who had worked for less than the full 12 months e.g. had left part way through the year.”

        • RedLogix

          Use your calculator.

          For an average 43 hours paid at a base rate of $27.40 over 52 weeks … lets see if you can work that out?

          • hs

            Yes it comes to 61k per annum. However, as has not been in dispute the average annual renumeration is around the 90k mark so this suggests there is a major issue with workflow.

            What is the solution because at the moment it appears to be heading towards mass redundancy and contracting out of services to another supplier.

          • J Mex

            Let me spell it out for you….

            Redlogix: “Exactly. My employer costs me at in internal charge out rate of about $150 per hour. But that’s nothing like what I’m actually paid

            Port: “The averages were calculated by POAL’s payroll team based on actual payments

            Port workers. Were actually paid. Into their bank account. On average. ~$91k.

            This is when some Standard commentator goes “Hey JMex, why are you so hung up on what port workers get paid?”


            See below:

            1: “Port workers don’t get paid much!”
            2. “Actually, they do”
            1. “Those figures are just made up bullshit, they can’t be right!”
            2. “Let me spend some time showing that they are correct”
            1. “Why are you so hung up on how well paid they are?”
            2. “?”
            1. “Anyway, those figures are just bullshit”
            2. “Yeah, just bullshit”

            Rinse. Repeat.

            • RedLogix

              So I take it you cannot multiply.

              Go on give it a go… it’s quite fun.

              • hs


                • RedLogix

                  Well I asked JMex to do a simple multiplication.

                  He came back with an evasive rant. What other conclusion would you draw?

                  • J Mex

                    [sigh] You are multiplying a base rate of pay, with no knowledge of the other rates of pay and allowances.

                    [Your services are no longer required here as from your post at 11:05am. Come back in a month when you feel like accepting our new terms and conditions….RL]

                    • J Mex

                      You are showed to be wrong, and you ban.

                      Nice one RedLogix.

                      Classy place you have here.

                      [No just following your own logic. We own the place, we set the terms, it’s what you insisted on. If you don’t like it… cold hard reality mate….RL]

                    • hs

                      From what I can see Redlogix is doing exactly that, even though that base rate of pay bears no resemblance to what is actually being paid. He/she appears unwilling to tolerate a dissenting view.

                      As per this clarification by POAL.

                      Ports of Auckland wage numbers

                      [No just applying JMex’s own standards to himself. And now he whines about it. Tough. Of course are you telling me that I don’t tolerate dissenting views? I can fix that you too if you are concerned about it….RL]

              • beachbum

                I think everyone agrees that base rate is the $27.40/hour. Its not just the other benefits that bring the annual base up to $91k.

                If they are working a night shift there is a premium to the $27.40/hour. There will be other add ons as well…

                I would imagine the only way a worker would recieve a base annual wage of $62k would be if they only worked day shifts all year around??

                That base rate may well be lower than POT rate.

                I note that MUNZ want 2.5% and the ability to work something out within 6 months. I am not sure how long that offer has been on the table. Both lots should be locked up in a boardroom somewhere and forced to resolve a satisfactory out come – it wouldn’t take more than a few days if there were some “clear heads” involved.

                I also recall that POA has some serious congestion issues on the wharf , and this obviously affect productivity at the crane…

                This will not get resolve through the press and I think POA may have backed themselves into a corner with the contracting out move. It would be more effective as a threat than actualy doing it.

                There needs to be a minimum shift payment, but MUNZ can’t expect it to be kept at 8 hours.

            • You_Fool

              Except the $91k is not what is paid into the workers bank account each year

              “The averages were calculated by POAL’s payroll team based on actual payments, including for leave days, medical insurance and superannuation contributions. (For employees covered by the collective agreement, POAL matches their superannuation contributions up to a maximum of 7%.) We excluded those who had worked for less than the full 12 months e.g. had left part way through the year.”

              It is less than that, because 91k includes all the other costs, super, medical, etc… So what the workers actually see in their accounts is less than that 91k, and is closer to that 61k +/- some amount.

              That said as I said in a different post, the amount the workers are getting is not really the point, nor is their benefits (i.e. leave, meds, super) but the hours they work compared to the hours they are paid, the value of those hours is not a concern. Therefore the debate should be on how shifts are worked out, as as mentioned before what ever hours the workers are expected to be on site should be what they are paid, though I believe there is room for negotiation around this, i.e. minimum hours each time you come into work (i.e. paid minimum 4 hrs when you come in, sent home and asked to come back in… another 4hrs, come in for 6hrs paid for 6hrs.)

              • higherstandard

                I’m afraid I call bullshit on that.

                There is no way that 30% of costs are insurance and super.

                If the employees are only getting 60k in wages and the port is quoting 91k then it is time for the SFO and IRD to be notified.

                • You_Fool

                  Maybe it is more then? I am taking the figure being used around here, either way the 91k is not paid into their accounts as per J Mex’s post, it is the total package with benefits.

                  Edit: Did a quick calc, $27 per hour x 40 hrs x 52 weeks = $56k I know there is overtime, but the base wage is “only” 56k per year, which is similar to the shift workers where i work… a not very unionised workplace

                  • J Mex

                    It’s not my post You_Fool (apt) it’s the number provided by POAL.

                    “The averages were calculated by POAL’s payroll team based on actual payments, including for leave days, medical insurance and superannuation contributions.”

                    That is how much monetary value does the worker receive for doing the job. $91k.

                    That’s how much value they won’t have shortly unless their union sorts their sh*t out.

                    [For a man who cannot multiply you are remarkably sure of yourself. Besides come back in a month… we no longer require your services. Cold hard reality….RL]

                    • You_Fool

                      As posted by you, J Mex

                      “Port workers. Were actually paid. Into their bank account. On average. ~$91k.”

                      So *your* post states that the Port Workers get, on average, 91k in their bank each year, or $1750 per week (91/52) which you got by quoting the Ports statement. However the statement does not state that the workers get that money on average, but that their average annual package is $91k and that includes benefits that is not money being put into the workers bank account.

                      As shown to get to that $91k you have to include overtime (an extra shift per week) and the monetary value of the other benefits. It can be argued that the super benefit should be included, though like all supers it is not something the workers actually see, so trying to frame them as living on 91k per year is incorrect.

                      Also if the ports do fire them all, then the port will fail, as all that experience is chucked out the door. Not a smart move by senior management.

                    • higherstandard

                      Feck I’m bailing on this whole MUNZ/POAL thing – it’s just going to go around and around in circles until the final offer by POAL is accepted or POAL sacks the stevedores and contracts it out to a third party.

                    • J Mex

                      “For a man who cannot multiply you are remarkably sure of yourself.”

                      The key, Redlogix, is being able to multiple more than two numbers.

                      [Still not happy with your new terms and conditions? So you’re out there protesting my autocratic high-handed moderation eh? And goodness me some of your mates are supporting you.

                      Well done JMex. I think your beginning to get the hang of this…RL]

                    • J Mex

                      Here’s the difference.

                      The Standard provides me with minimal value. Is not important to my lifestyle, and is easily replaceable. A ban from ‘The Standard’ has no consequence to me.

                      Luckily, I don’t have to suck up to you. I can call you a cock. No life consequence. We don’t have to have a constructive relationship.

                      BTW, ready to accept that your ‘calculations’ were inaccurate yet?

                      [Well done… this is almost getting to be a bit of a picket!! Want I should honk my horn for you?

                      The point is, despite your protestations, you think my actions unreasonable and autocratic. And they are. Instead of constructively discussing the issue with you I took the lazy way out and used my organisational power to shut you down. (And yet wholly consistent with the ‘that’s cold hard reality’ view that you originally expressed.)

                      And you’ve reacted pretty much how MUNZ have. Get it? RL]

                    • J Mex

                      No, how it usually works is, there is some back and forth, then LPrent decides that they aren’t getting any value out of the poster, and they are terminated. Pretty much exactly how the Port issue is going to play itself unless the Union realises that they don’t hold enough cards and are replaceable because they aren’t adding sufficient value.

                      That’s how life works. You, I, or others make these decisions every day.
                      Personal and business.

                      Anyway, fucknuts… How about this ban then?

                      [Normally we expect people to respect a banning voluntarily. It means you are welcome back when the ban expires with no fuss, no prejudice. If you really want lprent to respond, because you’ve backed yourself into an ideological corner that your too stupid to work your way out of, I can arrange that too…..RL]

                      [lprent: Much later – been a bit busy to fix my internet connection’s routing problem today. ]

                    • You_Fool

                      ” Pretty much exactly how the Port issue is going to play itself unless the Union realises that they don’t hold enough cards and are replaceable because they aren’t adding sufficient value.”

                      The Union may or may not hold value, but the workers they represent do, in fact I would argue that they hold all the value for the Ports of Auckland, and that if the upper management does go through with their threat then the Port will die a slow and painful death…. Assuming they don’t hire everyone back, after paying out redundancy and all the legal compensation for wrongful dismissal and then having to pay the same wage anyway….

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      Oooh, separated at birth shock! I think I’ve found where JMex gets his political DNA from. His Dad’s currently winning the race to be the rich white guy in a suit who loses to Obama in November.

                  • J Mex

                    Hey Redlogix, you are an absolute fucking retard.

                    You should write about real issues. Like health reform.

                    But The Standard is too busy in the pay of the Labour Party.

                    Save up to 90% on the latest iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G: http://www.bidfun-nz.com/ipad-2-wi-fi-3g

                    Oh, and you have no right to ban me.

                    That ought to do it.

                    [I’m leaving this up because the more you go on the bigger the fool you are making of yourself. You’ve backed yourself into an ideological dumbarse corner where you realise the only consistent way out is to demand I ban you. Hilarious and sad at the same time.

                    Any more posts from you however will go straight into moderation…RL]

                    • J Mex


                      I’m calling your bluff. You threatened to ban me on insufficient grounds, You didn’t. You can’t.

                      Sighs… IB just booted a poster a few moments ago with pretty much the same grounds. What on earth makes you think I couldn’t just blacklist you any time I pleased? I just happened to be not working today so I had some time to play around with you.]

                      If, in this twisted roleplay of yours, you are supposed to be the port, you’ve just been made to look like a pussy in front of the world.

                      [And in it you’ve put yourself in the position of demanding to be sacked. You could have just resigned and walked away. That way you the door would be open to returning as it were. But no you’re insisting I boot you. Why? Because you want to prove how that this is how the ‘real cold hard world’ operates.]

                      If, the moral of the story is that you should never terminate a poster, employee, provider, relationship – then your moral is not borne out by real world experience. Sure, you try and work these things out, but there is often a stalemate at which one side needs to make the hard decision and move on.

                      Yes, people have to talk things through. Yes, they should try to compromise. But eventually there are reconcilable differences.

                      The Union and port employees are on the wrong side of public opinion (look at the best that Len Brown gave them*) and they don’t hold enough cards. They need to change their position ASAP.

                      * Just on that. The Greens took a hammering on this site for not sticking by their staff in the Election Sign issue. Where are those same posters hammering Brown on his effective sell out of the Port employees. In fact, were are any of the left leaders? On holiday? (Matt McCarten doesn’t count – That guy would write an article in favour of a left leaning lamp post)

                      [You didn’t like my unilateral and unreasonable demands and you reacted…exactly as the Union has. When you realised that, and it took a while for you to see the trap… you’ve been too proud and ego-driven to accept the point. Preferring to self-destruct rather than learn something.

                      Of course I’ve played the role of the provocative bad guy here. Which is precisely what PoAL are doing to the Union….RL]

                    • lprent []

                      I just happened to be not working today so I had some time to play around with you.

                      Bloody glad you are. Managed to cause my network connection to get screwed up this morning and haven’t had time to fix it all day whilst fighting this optimization problem. Doing a scan of the comments now.

                    • J Mex

                      You really are taking your fantasy role playing to seriously.

                      You didn’t like my unilateral and unreasonable demands and you reacted…exactly as the Union has.

                      Um, no…I was completely indifferent to your demand. like I said, a ban from the Standard makes zero difference to my life. I just said that it makes you look like a cock.
                      [Then why on earth are you still here? Watching you deny the obvious is interesting.]

                      I was more concerned that you got to run away from your much vaunted “multiplication” screw up, by banning me.

                      [Not at all… you’ve probably missed that the discussion moved on without you here where we have drilled into the numbers in more depth. Which in fact was all I was trying to get you to do in the first place.]

                      You're demand/action doesn't bother me and is not out of the ordinary around here.

                      Makes it all a bit useless as analogy.

                      [You can claim it doesn’t bother you all you like; yet here you are large as life. Whether you pretend to care or not is besides the point; you reacted and that is plain on the page to anyone who reads it.

                      The point is simple. PoAL are using their organisational power to demand something MUNZ does not think reasonable. Just as I did. The Union is responding to that, exactly as you did. Whether MUNZ are going to respond in an intelligent and measured fashion is going to interesting to watch. Clearly you didn’t because in the end you were irrationally demanding I ban you. Why? Because I was provoking you.

                      If PoAL continues to be provocative and instrangient in their negotiating terms, as I was, then you can be sure of one thing… that their goal is not a sensible resolution of the dispute, but to destroy the Union.

                      All that played out, whether you thought you were co-operating or not… in a few short hours. You can end it here if you wish. It was after all a role play…RL]

                      [lprent: Stop playing with the food. Added him to auto-moderation. ]

    • James 111 16.2

      Sanctuary I believe you are wrong you have had the facts presented to you by POA note the KEY WORD IS THIS IS THE AVERAGE $91480. They wouldnt put this information out there if they couldnt prove by use of Tax summaries or other means. Here is what she said many are earning over $100 k that puts them in rich prick territory top 2% of income earners

      I can confirm that the average remuneration for a full time stevedore, in the year ended June 30, 2011, was $91,480. The average remuneration for a part time stevedore (guaranteed at least 24 hours work a week) was $65,518.

      53% of full time stevedores (123 individuals) earned over $80,000. 28% (43 individuals) earned over $100,000 with the highest earner making $122,000.

      [anyone know why this guy has a problem with working people getting a decent income? I mean, even it were true that the workers are getting $90,000 in their pay packets – and they’re not – what’s wrong with that? James]

      • James 111 16.2.1

        I dont have a problem with people earning good money as long as the productivity stacks up and they are competitive, all for it. My Grandfather was a wharfie, My Uncle was a Wharfie ,and my best man was a Wharfie.

        You selectively use the term for people with their noses in the trough, or rich pricks except when they are part of your flock. You have to at least be consistent or not use those terms at all fair is fair

        In regards to you saying they dont earn that sort of money I have not seen one shred of evidence from the Union to disprove those figures. I also dont believe that POA would put out false inforamtion about such a sensitive subject. When tensions are so high if they couldnt prove what they are saying

        [read what the Port’s shill wrote here yesterday. She admits they’re counting leave, superannuation subsidies, and other benefits as part of the wage packet. That’s ridiculous. And the workers are productive. They increased productivity 4.1% last year. The boss threw them a BBQ to celebrate and paid bonuses. Now, explain why you want to see their wages cut. James]

        • James 111

          Dont want to see their wages cut at all! Just want the Union to put a proposal forward that will make the port as competitive as Tauranga conditons may only be a small part of this

          • RedLogix

            Pay attention James. MUNZ has already been engaged with a productivity system called TRACC and has made it clear it is willing to work with the company look for improvements whereever possible.

            The workers aren’t stupid. They know it’s in their interests to keep the port competitive… but not at their expense. And especially not when their CEO is sucking down $750k while treating them like shit.

            • James 111

              Ok will that make the Port as competitive as Tauranga? If not it won t be good enough. As Len wants a much greater Dividend return. CEO Salary is a different matter I believe that would be about right for the size of operation ,and level of responsibility. At the end of the day the POA is stuck betweens Lens wants, and the Union demands from where I sit

              • RedLogix

                CEO Salary is a different matter I believe that would be about right for the size of operation ,and level of responsibility

                How do you know that? How about putting the COE’s job out to contract? Or putting it up for open tender? Then we might find out the actual market worth of the job.

                But of course you’d never suggest that for the bosses or yourself. You’re only interested in seeing workers pay cut. And while you say Dont want to see their wages cut at all! what you are demanding requires exactly that. So quit with the transparent prevarication.

                The simple fact here is that PoAL has gone for the casualisation of it’s labour force as a lazy way out of the larger problem they have created for themselves… which is that they have failed to make best use of their capital base. The port has a number of well-known structural problems the owners have failed to properly address over the years… and everyone in the industry knows this.

                Cutting workers wages is a stupid, futile way to try and fix this.

                The US automotive industry has tried exactly the same dumbarse strategy… for at least a decade management attacked it’s own workers, cutting input costs in order to hide their structural problems. And look where it ended up.

                Meanwhile the German auto industry makes twice as many cars as in the USA, and pays it’s workers twice as much.

                As I’ve challenged you repeatedly… try getting past simplistic slogan thinking. The world is a lot more interesting that you imagine James.

  17. Some Maritime Union members say why they are on strike.  Compelling stuff.  Repeated in open mike.

    • Olwyn 17.1

      Mickysavage, when I tried the link I got “the page you requested cannot be found.”

    • higherstandard 17.2

      One of disconnects for me is they continue to say that it is not about the money and it’s more about family time and certainty and give examples of the shifts they’re doing to back up their point.

      However MUNZ are asking for a roll over of the existing terms ?

      Why not, if both parties are incapable of reaching a negotiated agreement, have an independent workflow expert (appointed by a mediator) look at the POAL business and make some binding decisions which both parties had to abide by other wise it’s inevitably leading to a mass sacking and contracting out.

      The party that did not agree to going down that track could be suspected to be the one acting in poor faith perhaps ?

  18. You_Fool 19

    Am I allowed to have a possible voice of moderation? Could there be a negotiation around the length of a “shift” so that the port only needed to garrentee a 4 hr shift hen rostered on, but overtime could happen. But if you go home you have “finished” your shift (and paid for the remaining hours) but if you haven’t gone home then the shift is a continuation up to a maximum of 12 hrs per 24hr period? Or what ever is a ‘safe’ amount of work hours in a 24hr period? I.e. rostered for 1 4 hr shift, but there is work for 6hrs then get paid for 6 hrs, if only work for 2 hrs then get paid for 4 hrs. There could also be provisions about how multiple 4 hr shifts could relate to each other, i.e. the Ports couldn’t roster someone on Shift 1 & 3 & 5, maybe at least 2 rostered shifts must be sequential? Also a minimum number of shifts per work week

    This means that the Ports get a slightly more flexible workforce, minimise actual downtime, but means that the Ports still have some motivation to optimise workflows.
    I can see plenty of opportunity for some actual dialogue which benefits the Ports and the Workers.

    • higherstandard 19.1

      “I can see plenty of opportunity for some actual dialogue which benefits the Ports and the Workers.”

      About as much chance of POAL and MUNZ doing that as an agreement between the differing views on this blog.

      And yes you are correct the sticking point is all about the rosters – it would be good to have a completely independent workflow expert (appointed by a mediator) look at the POAL business and make some binding decisions which both parties had to abide by other wise it’s inevitably leading to a mass sacking and contracting out.

      • You_Fool 19.1.1

        I don’t think there needs to be an independent party involved, just both sides using some common sense, and a willingness to actually negotiate. What i have read about this issue on either side is that both sides are being quite stubborn and both sides like to throw up stats on money earned and such like, none of which appears to be the issue, esp the wage figures as if that mattered at all then this would never have gotten this far, because as far as i see it the wage offered by the Ports is higher than the Union’s counter, it is the likely hours paid that is in dispute. Which the Ports possibly need to be a bit more flexible over, I mean if it is truly a contract dispute then they should want to negotiate, not prance in the media claiming all sort of irrelevant facts. If they were doing this, bargaining in good faith, then the unions stubbornness could be painted in the light the management and the righties are trying, but then they might have to accept that the union might accept it and then the true agenda would fall over…

        • higherstandard

          Why not an independent party – both sides have proven to be poor negotiators and intransigent with their respective positions.

          An independent party wold surely shine some disinfecting sunlight on the matter and we could perhaps have some assurance that ratepayers are getting a fair deal. If it works with POAL there’s plenty of other council and government departments that could be taken to task in the same way – who knows perhaps we could end up getting rid of a whole heap of middle and senior management troughers at the same time.

          • You_Fool

            The problem I have is that we shouldn’t need it, both sides should be adult enough to actually negotiate in good faith, plus if we have independent analysis of the situation then they will need to be paid for, by the council ultimately, and as such would be a waste of money if it wasn’t for the childish behaviour of the people involved in this dispute.

            • higherstandard

              At this stage I would have thought 100-200k (actually 6 months ago) on some independent mediation and analysis would be money well spent – the alternative seems to be mass redundancy and contracting out of stevedoring.

              • You_Fool

                Once again, it is only money well spent because the people doing the negotiating are not cost-efficient at their job. The alternative will be the loss of the Ports of Auckland as a functioning Port.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Oddly enough POAL is clearly profitable and management love to award themselves pay rises; tis time to fire the CEO and the Board and its profitability will go up by another 10.5%.

                  Do that today.

                • higherstandard

                  So the POAL should sack the CEO and board and the MUNZ members should sack MUNZ perhaps ?

                  • You_Fool

                    Depends on actual performances, but from what I can see of this mess it may not be a bad idea

  19. In response to various points and requests for information:

    Our CEO’s statement in the Herald on 15 December 2011 was: “Labour utilisation here is about 65 per cent compared to more than 80 per cent at Port of Tauranga, meaning that for every 40 hours a stevedore is paid, they can work as little as 26 (and let’s remember that average remuneration for a fulltime stevedore is $91,000).”

    There has been no change of position by the company on the $91,000 average remuneration, nor to the labour utilisation ratio which is calculated after leave hours are deducted and is 65% worked hours / 35% down time. This compares to less than 20% downtime at Port of Tauranga.

    The figures MUNZ have released are derived from guaranteed (minimum) hours. Ours are actual payments made.

    As per my earlier post, looking at employees who earned the average $91,000, they averaged paid hours of 49 (including leave) and, because of the low labour utilisation, they would have worked on average 28 hours a week.

    As requested, the median remuneration for the 151 full time stevedores who worked the full year ended June 2011 was $89,067.82. 28% of full time stevedores (43 individuals) earned over $100,000 p.a. The median remuneration for the 25 part time stevedores who worked the full year ended June 2011 was $71,259.96.

    The figures do not include shift supervisors (who are not covered by the Collective Agreement).

    POAL does not pay anyone as little as $13 an hour and the company has lodged breach of good faith proceedings in relation to the placard mentioned in posts and which has been prominent in media coverage.

    The lowest rate we offer is for casual lashing and that is $17.12 per hour. All other rates are over $20 per hour.

    The basic stevedoring hourly rate is $27.26 with a premium of $42.38 per shift for working night shifts regardless of whether it is an overtime shift or not.

    Employees also receive a meal allowance of $8.53 which is paid on both night and afternoon shifts.

    On all shifts, a skill task allowance is paid on certain tasks of $5.70 per hour.

    Overtime lashing is paid at $22.48 per hour.

    Permanent stevedores are allowed to work up to three extra shifts a week, with priority access to lashing over casual employees on two of these.

    The Port’s latest and final offer includes a 10% increase on hourly rates plus productivity bonuses which could see a top-performing stevedore increase his or her hourly rate by as much as 20%. Employees would have the opportunity to plan their roster a month in advance.

    There is no double-dipping of Directors’ payments. To be fair to Penny Bright, who raised this, we accept that this was a misunderstanding on her part and was not wilful.

    POAL’s value of assets complies with IFRS accounting requirements. Revaluation of property will occur 30 June 2012. There has been no indication of a reduction in value since last valuation.

    The figures do not include shift supervisors (who are not covered by the Collective Agreement).

    [Double dip pasting cleaned up…RL]

    • RedLogix 21.1

      So lets do some thinking here.

      Base stevedoring rate = $27.30

      Night shift stevedoring rate = $42.38

      Given that over the course of a year most workers will do a mix of day and night shifts (I’m assuming night-time shift is the graveyard shift starting at midnight) then roughly their overall hourly rate must be something between these two numbers, say generously in the order of $35 per hour.

      Now if as you have said the average hours worked per week is 43, then for a full 52 week year this works out at a gross pay of about $78,000.

      A bit of a gap to $91,000.. no?

      PS In fact if you work backwards from $91,000 for a 43 hr/52 week year, it comes to an hourly rate of $40.60. Are they only running the port at nighttime?

      Or in fact are we stuffing that $91,000 figure with a bunch of non-cash benefits?

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.1

        POAL might be counting a bunch of other stuff in addition to base pay to come up with the total ‘remuneration package’.

        I’d like to thank Catherine for providing all this additional detail, which clearly POAL did not have to do. Its good to see POAL responding to community concerns seriously.

        It seems to me reading these stats that the vast majority of full time stevedores at POAL earn substantially over the $57K pa base rate figure which has been kicking around.

      • Lanthanide 21.1.2

        RL, I believe the night shift is an allowance, eg a fixed top up. So on the night shift they get paid $27.30 + a fixed sum of $42.38. Assuming a night shift is a full 8 hours, this means they effectively get $32.59 per hour on night shifts, not including any “skilled task” addon.

    • You_Fool 21.2

      So are you saying that the original post was wrong and that the $91k is actually paid to the workers each year? Thus other benefits are on top of this?

      Also what is the average overtime worked (in hours) each week? Also when comparing labour utilisation to other ports does this take into account actual work hours on a comparable basis? I.e. are there similar working hours available at other ports which have a higher ratio?

      I realise that actual working hours can be influenced by cost of using the port, of which a portion is labour compensation, so therefore there is a link, however if out of a 40 hr week if one port has 26 hrs of work on average and the other has 32 hrs on average over a year then if both have equal labour compensation packages the one that has 32 hrs work each week will have a better ratio that has nothing to do with the labour compensation.

      IN fact this could be due to better productivity by the workforce, so in fact we need to compare volume of work as well so we get a better view of the entire situation.

    • McFlock 21.3

      Given the total of 151 fulltime stevedores and your previous comment “53% of full time stevedores (123 individuals) earned over $80,000. “, are PoAL now saying that 80% (not 53%) of fulltime stevedores earn in excess of $80,000?

    • Lanthanide 21.4

      I’m still having trouble working out how this adds up to the $91k average figure.

      Using 43 paid hours per week, we get 2,236 hours per year. This works out to 279.5 shifts, so call it 280 and make annual hours 2,240.

      Assume basic stevedor pay at $27.26/hr gives $61,062.40 basic pay.

      Assume 1/3rd of all shifts worked are Night and qualify for the fixed $42.38 shift allowance: $3,955.47.

      Assume 2/3rds of all shifts worked are Afternoon or Night and qualify for the $8.53 meal allowance: $1,592.27.

      Add all these up and we get $66,610.14

      There is clearly a large amount missing. If we assume all 2,240 hours are paid with the “skill task allowance” that’s an additional $12,768 bringing our figure up to $79,378.14.

      Both of these figures are still quite a way off the $91k mark, and very far off the $100k+ that 43 individuals made.

      There must be at least another piece to this puzzle; my guess would be ‘overtime’ rates paid at 1.5x or something like that, although even that only works out to an extra $2,180.80 on these figures (280 shifts is 20 more than the basic 40 hour 260 shifts annually, so 1.5x would pay equivalent of 290).

      • RedLogix 21.4.1

        Thanks Lanth. It’s exactly the same problem I was trying to highlight… but you’ve thought it through much more carefully.

        A fair chunk of the gap will be non-cash ‘benefits’. Everyone will argue them till they are blue in the face.

        The employers see them as costs and want to include them into ‘total renumeration’, but the workers really only care about the cash they see each payday.

        For instance if the company tried to include the cost of the cranes as a ‘benefit’ in the employees package everyone would laugh them out of the room.

        But many employers will include the value of a company car in the total package, even though 90% or more of it’s use is for company purposes.

        Superannuation contributiuons are another dodgy one. In reality they are just another form of indirect taxation; the employee certainly never sees the cash. At least not until they retire, and then it’s needed to prop up an otherwise miserly National Super.

        Medical insurance is another debatable one. There is a real employee benefit to this, but again it’s non-cash… and it also is of considerable benefit to the company to ensure it’s trained and experienced workers can access health care in a timely fashion.

        But however you cut this cake up; a gross cash income somewhere between $60-90k pa for being on call 24/7, for the kind of shift work these guys do is actually fairly normal. As a one or two others have said, it’s only because so many other non-union workers in this country as so very badly paid by comparison that this has any resonance at all.

        • beachbum

          There is certainly a gap. Medical cover could be from $3k to $5k at a guess? Add on FBT (paid by the company) @ 49%? . So medical would be say $6k. $91k includes paid leave. So there are 5? weeks of not working and being paid. Yuo may find that they actually have shitloads of annual leave accrued – its always a problem.

          But leave IS paid out so not an issue. There will be double time elements etc. And you will find the highest paid wharfies are the ones who pull the largest hours on the night shifts. There are some “plum shifts” that they like to get as they pay more.

          So add to the base $62k say 6K for insurance, $8k for super, then say 20% of their hours at double time (47 weeks 20% of 43 hours = say 9 hours a week at an additional $27/hr) that is $11.4 k.

          So we are now at 89K. we can all argue about overtime component but the above would get you in the vicinity of $91k. I am too high on OT hours but there are other shift allowance etc that they get.

          Its a bit like looking at your own personal spending over a month and not believing how bloody high it is even though the numbers are staring you in the face.

          The Problem for MUNZ is that if they agree to more flexibility, no-one really knows how this will affect the back pocket of the workers. i.e. will the 10% increase compensate for the flexibility?

          They need to negotiate soe sort of productivity agreement where savings are shared on some basis. Let the workers have some shareholding so they get to benefit that way.

    • Lanthanide 21.5

      Catherine, could you please provide the average annual money that would be deposited into a stevedor’s bank account, before taxes, kiwisaver or any other superannuation deductions? This figure would exclude the monetary value of benefits such as sick leave, annual leave and medical insurance.

      I myself get medical insurance, a small amount of additional leave above the legal minimum as well as a host of other on-site amenities, but none of this shows up in my bank account.

      Total remuneration is definitely an important figure, but I believe it is misleading to compare your $91k number to the one produced by MUNZ. A breakdown that separated ‘cash in bank’ from the dollar value of the extra worker benefits would help to explain the discrepancy I outline above, I think.

  20. Adders 22

    Catherine Etheredge’s comment appears to have been double-dipped in paste.

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