web analytics

Real choices

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 pm, March 2nd, 2009 - 13 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags: ,

Kate Wilkinson’s attempts to defend the fire at will bill are getting increasingly desperate. She’s just put out an excited press release where she’s trying to claim that a CTU flyer telling workers they don’t legally have to sign onto a 90 day ‘trial’ period proves her absurd claim that these periods are therefore ‘voluntary’.

What Kate (along with most neoliberals) fails to understand is that the two things are not the same. Because while both employer and employee can theoretically agree to waive the 90 day fire at will period, it’s the employer who gets the final say. Unless the employee has significant bargaining power – something rare in any case, and particularly so in a recession – it’s a case of “take it or leave it”.

With such an asymmetery of bargaining power the reality is workers don’t have a choice. So while the CTU has a duty to its members and to the wider public to encourage them to try and negotiate an exemption, the reality is workers will be forced to sign if they want a job. It’s as simple as that.

13 comments on “Real choices ”

  1. BLiP 1

    This elemental part of the relationship with an employer, that they get the last word on the employment contract, is so obvious that I am sure KW understands completely. Her press release is a cynical act of desparation by PR hacks clutching at straws and attempting to mislead voters rather than defend law.

    Watch the Herald salivate over this disception and add the canard “giving people a fair go” in its on-going promotion of the policy.

  2. QoT 2

    Jeeeeeez, Tane, it’s like you’re trying to imply that there’s some kind of power dynamic in play in the employer-employee relationship. I think if that were, like, true, our beloved Government Ministers are probably smart enough to know it’s there, right?

  3. burt 3

    So what you are saying Tane is that in a recession when an employer takes a chance on a new employee they will have the power to decide if they should employ and pay that person or not ? Wow, that’s a pretty scary thing – next thing you will be telling me is that when I walk into the dairy and the dairy owner tries to sell me something I don’t need that I will have the choice how I spend my money rather than just give it to him because he/she wants/needs it.

    Scary times we live in.

    • QoT 3.1

      Yeah, burt, because those situations are *totally* comparable on the basis of who has the power in the interaction.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        they will have the power to decide if they should employ and pay that person or not ?

        Where did you get the idea that they do not have that power now? Of course they do. People are being hired and fired all the time. And to dismiss someone, they have a clear, fair process to go through to achieve it… although even getting that right eludes some of them.

        Why not just come out and say what you really want; a return to the old days when employers could arbitrarily fire workers for no justifiable reason, no due process, and no right of recourse?

        You never know, you might get some kudos for being honest for once.

        • Akldnut

          Red He dosn’t need to cause it’s already in place. He should be saying woohoo we’re back to the old days………….

  4. rave 4

    Has Minister Wilkinson said that WINZ will stand down unemployed who refuse to take a 90 day fire at will job? That will be the test of whether workers have the power to refuse or not.

    • BLiP 4.1

      WINZ has said that it will not provide any transition to work assistance for the 90 day jobs as it deems them to be temporary – in the unlikely event that WINZ will be consistent in its policy, then there should be no stand down period at all.

  5. TightyRighty 5

    It is take it or leave it. as it should be. If you do take it, then prove your worth and you’ll be fine. if you take it and your rubbish, then sayonara, and thats great because someone more deserving and hopefully more productive will get a crack at the position. if you leave it, well your just signalling to the employer that your rubbish and good riddance, the employer hasn’t wasted their precious time with you.

    • fraser 5.1

      “if you take it and your rubbish, then sayonara”

      what if you take it, your not rubbish, but still get fired because the employer is dishonest or vindictive?

      or are you saying that somehow bad employers dont exist?

      Why cant anyone who supports this bill actually tackle the question of why removing the right to face your accuser is somehow just and fair?

  6. infused 6

    What good times we live in

    • Matthew Pilott 6.1

      What, Infused, a recession? Whoop-de-di.

      TightyRighty – so we’ve established that Wilkonson was talking absolute rubbish when she said

      The flyer explains that an employment agreement that features a 90 day trial is voluntary and must be agreed to in writing.

      since you have to ‘take it or leave it’?

      • TightyRighty 6.1.1

        No, it is voluntary and must be agreed to in writing so thats totally correct. however, if i was taking a punt on somebody who could be fifty-fifty, i would not be giving them a contract without a probation period in it. and if they kicked up a fuss about that in the interview when it would be first discussed, then it would signal to me that i should not bother putting the contract before the prospective employee.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago