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Tipping vs fair wages

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, May 24th, 2017 - 39 comments
Categories: class war, paula bennett, wages - Tags: , ,

I’m glad to see that Paula Bennett’s call for more tipping in NZ (“mandatory” tipping?) has generated a very strong response – in opposition.

Brian Rudman: Forget tipping, pay fair wages instead

Sorry Paula, tipping sucks and we definitely should not bring it to New Zealand

Mark Sainsbury: More tipping for better service? Rubbish

Barry Soper: Paula Bennett’s latest crusade reaches tipping point

What is it about Paula Bennett whose blood belts though her arteries and seems to end up coagulating in her brain.

Our Tourism Minister’s recommending we say thanks for service with our wallets, tipping those who provide it.

She argues people come to this country to experience our beautiful landscapes and beaches and they leave talking about the wonderful people they meet here.

Now few could argue with that, but many of them leave, refreshed that we’re not a culture clutching the begging bowl.

To tip or not to tip? An American in New Zealand weighs in

The point I’m making is the US system is not reliable and the Kiwi version is. … If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In the end, we all just want to be appreciated.

More from America: 9 Reasons We Should Abolish Tipping, Once And For All

I don’t know of a single piece written in support of Bennett’s proposal. She has been in the bubble too long, and lost touch with the values of NZ.

https://twitter.com/jules_jellybean/status/866759474538627072

39 comments on “Tipping vs fair wages ”

  1. Andre 1

    The power imbalance thing is a big deal. Control freaks love it that they get to decide what their server earns, especially that they can punish those not meeting their expectations. And those expectations can be seriously creepy.

    One place I worked I had a sort-of-boss that was in the habit of taking our team to lunch regularly to the same joint. Whenever a new cute waitress started the first couple of lunches he would tip generously, then after that he would start hitting hard on the waitress.

    It’s one of the aspects of life in the US that I never got used to, and eventually I cut way back on going out for meals because I found it so distasteful.

  2. bwaghorn 2

    Isn’t the minster promoting tax avoidance ?
    also it popped up on my fb feed and the comments were nothing to do with tipping but all to do with how little people think of bennet , shes hated by many it would seem

    • Craig H 2.1

      Tax evasion – tax is supposed to be paid on tips, so not paying tax is outright evasion.

      • Kevin 2.1.1

        How many people pay in cash these days?

        • Craig H 2.1.1.1

          Sales receipts are typically about 20% cash, 80% eftpos. That doesn’t reduce tips though, as eftpos machines are being designed to ask for tips.

        • Johan 2.1.1.2

          Kevin, If you shop at Pack & Save, you will often find dairy owners buying massive amounts of goods on special. These people all seem to deal in cash. Now why is that;-))

          • The New Student 2.1.1.2.1

            Does gst not apply to supermarket purchases paid for with cash?

            Also, why can’t dairy owners access the same cost that supermarkets can? is bulk purchasing power really a good thing?

            • Johan 2.1.1.2.1.1

              TNS, You’re missing the point in regards to paying for cash instead of bank transactions.

              • David C

                Johan.
                You mean TNS is missing the point that a lot of diary/takeaway/bakery etc etc owners have a cake tin full of notes buried in the back garden that they use in the black economy?

      • bwaghorn 2.1.2

        how many people do you think declare their tips?

        • Craig H 2.1.2.1

          Only those who have to, so very infrequently. I’ve seen payslips with gratuities on them though, so it does happen (a big international hotel).

          • greywarshark 2.1.2.1.1

            Overseas businesses tend to include a percentage for tips, gratuities in the bill!

  3. greywarshark 3

    Bennett lost touch with NZ values?? Which NZ? Which values? She is right on the track of the asperashunal materialistic type we have been enticed into thinking is The Right Way by the neoliberal pirates who boarded our good ship and took us all into Jolly Rogerland.

    But don’t worry – the brave Monty and his band take issue with this scheme. And I think we can win if we can just hold together, hold to reasonable principles, treat the mariners and landlubbers fairly with decent conditions and find new and suitable moorings. And not follow the lemmings falling off a cliff.

    And just to add a vid bright spot – the Pythons Meaning of Life (and business)

    and
    Accountancy Shanty – vocal
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtnqNEmvb1o
    and on film
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_IuuQZ0IO8

  4. Of course Bennett and the hospitality industry are keen on promoting tipping. Tipping is a natural feature of a low-wage economy because it’s assumed the poor schmuck serving you isn’t going to be able to live on whatever their boss is paying them – that kind of society is an aspirational goal for National and its donors/supporters, but there’s no reason the rest of us would want a bar of it.

    • bwaghorn 4.1

      trickle down in it’s purest form ,

    • McFlock 4.2

      totally.

      Pay them more at source, and give the employee some income security.

      Sure, if someone goes way above and beyond (or just gives you the best laugh of the night) slip them something extra, but it should never be routine.

    • keepcalmcarryon 4.3

      Bang on PM.
      Why wouldnt they back this it fits their world view entirely.
      One can scatter ones change from ones ministerial vehicle window to even better effect.
      If Chester Borrows had used his nous he could have thrown a bit of loose change about and moved those pesky peasants from in front of his car come to think of it.

      Besides what else to do with all this loose change from ones housing portfolio?

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    Hmmm r0b

    You have said that Bennett has called for more tipping. The actual quote though is

    “I don’t think that tipping should be mandatory in New Zealand, but I do think that we shouldn’t tell people not to tip when they come here, which we did for a while”.

    To be honest I don’t have much of a problem with that. If people want to tip minimum and low wage earners, then that should be encouraged. Certainly not discouraged.

    • Gabby 5.1

      How would you ensure that the person who was tipped got the money?

    • Bill 5.2

      I’ve worked in a number of places years back where tips were left by customers. Nothing wrong with it. It wasn’t as though the tips were in lieu of paying whatever the going rate was for the work being done.

      What did piss people off was if a waiter (say) took a tip and kept it to themselves rather than putting it in the “tip jar”. The idea always was that tips would accumulate and be divvied up at the end of the season among all the workers (those with direct customer contact as well as those with none)

      • Carolyn_nth 5.2.1

        Ah. Interesting. Tipping to individuals misses the point that good service is a team effort.

        I’d bet that Bennett’s idea of tipping is very individualistic.

        • simbit 5.2.1.1

          In the mid 90s I was tipped as a barman in a chch hotel (owned by Earl Hagerman…) And so were the housemaids. We all needed the money.

    • greywarshark 5.3

      To tip or not to tip…
      From Nine To Noon, 9:46 am on 23 May 2017
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201844808/to-tip-or-not-to-tip

      Listen duration 7′ :03″
      The Deputy Prime Minister, Paula Bennett has suggested New Zealand should embrace tipping to improve the quality of service for tourists. Ms Bennett, who is also the Tourism Minister, made the comments in a letter to the New Zealand Herald and has been backed up by the Restaurant Association and the Hospitality Association.

      Kathryn Ryan speaks to Professor Michael Lynn,from Cornell University who’s published more than 50 academic papers on the subject of tipping.

    • r0b 5.4

      You missed the first bit of the quote Enough:

      “If you receive excellent service, you should tip,” Bennett said.

      Hence the headlines:
      Deputy PM Paula Bennett calls for more tipping
      Should tipping in NZ be mandatory? Paula Bennett thinks we should encourage top service
      and so on.

      • Enough is Enough 5.4.1

        Yeah – I still do not have a problem with that.

        Hospitality will by its very nature be low paid, if not the lowest paid work. Whether the minimum wage is $8, $15, $30, you will find the people serving you your steak are on a wage lower than most other people.

        For that reason we should be happy to tip. By no means be expected to tip, or tip in lieu of a decent wage. But there is nothing at all wrong with encouraging people to be generous to those who are earning less then everyone else.

        • McFlock 5.4.1.1

          I think there’s a few things at play here. The first is whether we, as NZers, might want to chuck a little bit in the direction of someone who really did something cool, a little personal thankyou to them for something they weren’t professionally expected to do. I’m cool with that.

          the second is supplementing a meagre pay with discretionary private charity, rather than actually making sure everyone’s wage lets them live in dignity. I think this is wrong.

          The third is that Bennett’s comment was about whether we should tell people who are accustomed to supplementing meagre pay with private charity that here in NZ we expect people to be paid a decent wage, so tipping should not be necessary.

          I am opposed to Bennett’s suggestion, because it’s a thinly-disguised attempt to normalise meagre pay, rather than give people wages that enable one to live in dignity.

          • Enough is Enough 5.4.1.1.1

            Yeah I take that on board and I think what have you have said in your first paragraph nails where I am coming from.

            As I said, hospitality workers will always be at the lower end of the pay spectrum, regardless of how high or low that is.

            So I will not agree with anyone who suggests discouraging tipping is a good thing.

  6. Mrs Brillo 6

    And encouraging a tipping culture for overseas visitors would also mean that locals need to carry our passports with us when we go out to dinner: “Don’t expect a tip, I’m a Kiwi.” That’ll go down well.

    Honestly, this government won’t be happy till the next generation has the work options of coolie, pool boy, caddie or maid to visiting bignoters. What a future.

  7. gsays 7

    Been in hospitality most of my adult life.
    My observation is: generally service standards are low.
    Not just in hospo, but in lots of trades, retail and device industries.

    Lack of training and a low priority for employers.
    As front of house folk are largely temporarily working in the industry: students, part time while the kids are young…. staffing becomes transitory therefore not worthy of investment.

    Tipping is vulgar and largely unfair.
    Good service involves teamwork, attention and experience.

    • Johan 7.1

      gsays, If I go to a restaurant and the service is poor, they won’t get my business again, simple.

  8. keepcalmcarryon 8

    Begin with the beehive, ministers to receive minimum wage, no overtime and get tipped for good service. Preferably they get zero hour contracts.
    Good for the goose, good for the gander.

  9. Well Ms Bennett would only need a tiny tipping jar as the service she provides is bloody useless.

    She needs to keep her mouth firmly shut.

  10. peterlepaysan 10

    Encouraging tipping is encouraging begging.
    Increased begging reduces paying benefits.
    Increased begging allows employers to pay nil wages.

    What a wonderful nat party leader she would make. No doubt i shipley and r richardson would approve, as would treasury robot english.

  11. millsy 11

    Having a meal in a restaurant, bar or cafe in this country is expensive enough without having to tip the server.

    And to have an army of wait staff working as independent contractors for just tips would be a wet dream for the hospo industry.

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