Why we train health and safety reps

Written By: - Date published: 4:31 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 14 comments
Categories: ACC, class war, health and safety - Tags:

Following the attack by Judith Collins on the CTU and Business NZ Health and Safety Training we have had lots of interest in how the courses we run are recognised and funded etc.

The NZCTU has been running the courses on contract to ACC since 2003.  Worker participation and Health and Safety Reps are a fundamental and vital component of the overall health and safety regulatory system as the 2012 Task Force acknowledged.

The training has been undertaken at considerable cost to the CTU in management and other costs. More than 30,000 HS Reps have been trained.

The CTU became involved in 2003 because the DOL took no steps, as the Government regulator responsible for the HSE Act, to promote, recognise or train the HS Reps introduced by the 2002 HSE Act amendment. To its credit the ACC agreed to a joint venture with the CTU to do so.  Business NZ was added as a provider after the ACC/CTU training programme was successfully promoted and established.

The ACC/CTU training has had several very positive evaluative assessments . Managers and Supervisors have been welcomed to the training and have also been positive about the training.

In 2008 ACC decided to tender the training out and issued a Request for Proposals (RFP).

Of course with our history and interest we provided a tender proposal and participated in the process.  The reality was those at ACC at the time had no commitment to Union lead health and safety training and the ideology at the time (still existent) was that somehow these representatives operated in a vacuum from the power relationships in a workplace that actually need support to overcome.  The same panic we are seeing now in the Supermarket inquiry (will suppliers feel free to submit in the power imbalance between them and the supermarket chains?) applies at double strength to workers.

I remember we got through the first round tender process and then heard it was likely ACC would dump both BusNZ and CTU and go with a “neutral” third provider – still in the market – Impac Training.  We voiced our concerns strongly, and it was recognised that unions actually provided training to a different group of workers than Business NZ or Impac would and that without tripartite participation in this important area of training, it was a “risk” to ACC to simply focus on one provider.  Our other concern was that of the three providers – we were (and still are) the only provider that does not charge an additional charge on top of the ACC funds provided for the job.  Our view was employers pay the leave, ACC pays the cost and we provide the training – it was a fair enough balance.

Eventually ACC also agreed that three providers was a safe way to go and the NZCTU had a legitimate role in providing training to workers who were elected as health and safety reps (and we subsequently have trained over 200 ACC reps on our programmes).  The awarding of contracts to the three providers resulted in a collaboration between us all to deliver a high quality training programme that ensured sufficient capacity in the system to meet the demand for rep training, meant each of the three providers could play to its strengths and enabled some competition in the system (which ACC thought was an important part of having more than one provider).

Over the last few years the contracts have changed since that first tender including constant reductions in the numbers of trainees we are funded to train and a narrowing down of the industries where trainees can be trained from (forestry, construction, agriculture, trucking and manufacturing).  The consequence we imagine, is that many workers now miss out on the training they need to use their powers in the Health and Safety Act (which requires attendance at a course approved by the Minister of Labour).

Our contract to train has been renewed for another year (see a previously released contract here – we are happy to release the new one which is very similar but with reduced numbers, but we need ACC agreement to do this).  But there is also a process that started last year to develop an expanded and/or new model for health and safety rep training consistent with the legal changes coming down the line in the Government’s programme to strengthen health and safety.  The CTU on behalf of workers given their vital interest in this has had numerous meetings with the Government last year and this year including WorkSafe about what scheme, under new health and safety law, is needed to ensure trained workers health and safety representatives across NZ industry are truly able to work in their workplaces to make them safe – that is a tricky question and requires a range of solutions in our view.

The Minister called our courses a rort and a scam despite us meeting our deliverables, ACC itself having put 200 reps through and the Minister of Labour approving and Gazetting the programme.  We don’t expect it will be her last attack on us and her mate Jordan Williams does those 30,000 trained reps a great disservice by supporting her attacks.  We have written to TVNZ about their liability broadcasting the Ministers defamation of us and this will either fuel the fire or they will do the thing any reasonable State Broadcaster would do and apologise.  Time will tell.

We anticipate further attacks by those that don’t want workers to know their health and safety rights and this blog is intended to set out the issues clearly for when and if that occurs (so bear with me!)

14 comments on “Why we train health and safety reps”

  1. fender 1

    You do wonderful work Helen. I certainly don’t envy you having to have any contact with the hideous minister Collins. As for that creep Williams, he must have been promised lower taxes if he picks up her crap and throws it around on her behalf.

    Hurry up TVNZ; apologise for repeating the defamatory comments!

  2. xtasy 2

    Helen, I agree with a lot with what you say re this, but you are up against the “chappy” from the “NZ Taxpayer’s Union” now, who considers all this a waste of money (taxpayer’s money). He has a bit of an easy argument, same like many employers, that such things can be communicated much more “cheaply” by simply having people view clips online, by downloading a video stream or so from a website, and “enlighten” themselves that way.

    I worked in different roles over many years, and the influence of the internet or intranet is now so strong, that most employers will try all to not have face to face contacts with service providers or volunteers, it is “cheaper” for them to have people told, you can “look that up on our website”.

    This is standard procedure now, and that is what you and the CTU are up against. People no longer count as human, biological species in your face or presence, they either have to adopt the robot role, or use and communicate with cyber robot communicators on intra or internet. Welcome to the digital age!

    As that is dealt with, where is your present stand on this, please?

    http://www.racp.org.nz/page/racp-faculties/australasian-faculty-of-occupational-and-environmental-medicine/realising-the-health-benefits-of-work/latest-news/

    http://www.racp.org.nz/page/racp-faculties/australasian-faculty-of-occupational-and-environmental-medicine/realising-the-health-benefits-of-work/may-2010-video-presentation-professor-sir-mansel-aylward/

    Do you know the background of one Dr David Beaumont, “President Elect” of the RACP, who have AFOEM as one of their major faculties, promoting the “work will set you free” ideology by one Professor Mansel Aylward? Do you know he runs his own NZ business called “Pathways to Work”, benefiting from contracts with MSD and ACC?

    Do you know one Helen Lockett, Policy Advisor for Workwise, who was one of the members on the “Health and Disability Panel” advising MSD and Paula Bennett on welfare reforms, and who managed to get a CONTRACT out of MSD to run trials for outsourcing work referral services and the likes for WINZ, like getting mental health sufferers and sole parents into work, for neat and rewarding “head money” fees?

    Do you know what Aylward et al are known for in the UK?

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/09/09/professor-mansel-aylward-my-what-a-very-tangled/

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/05/31/a-tale-of-two-models-disabled-people-vs-unum-atos-government-and-disability-charities-by-debbie-jolly-dpac/

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2013/08/28/unums-unaccepatable-influence-in-the-formulation-of-uk-dwp-atos-disability-assessment-regime-letter-to-president-of-the-faculty-of-occupational-medicine-royal-college-of-physicians/

    And perhaps dare to look at this info found here, that is more relevant for NZ and people here, on benefits for sickness or disability, who are pressured to look for jobs, competing with members of your CTU unions:

    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/medical-and-work-capability-assessments-based-on-the-controversial-bio-psycho-social-model/

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15463-designated-doctors-%e2%80%93-used-by-work-and-income-some-also-used-by-acc/

    Are you still standing by your support for the AFOEM and RACP’s statement on the “health benefits of work”, in view of what the persons just referred to stand for, one having been paid for “science” by a corrupt and convicted US insurance giant, called UNUM?

    Tell us, what side are you on, dear Helen?

  3. Skinny 3

    The National Government don’t like the idea of unionists getting together in groups and organising at the taxpayers expense. That’s their real fear, workers getting together and organising themselves.

    It’s an ideological position that has caused Joyce, Key and the Right to become overly calculating and paranoid. Cutting off funding because they think the proceeds of the funding will in part go to funding the Labour Party’s election campaign, this is their real reason we all know that.
    Nevermind New Zealand’s applauding record of workplace deaths and serious injuries, that requires a social conscience, of which they are morally bankrupt.

    I find their attitude to be absolutely disgusting and beggars belief. Meanwhile day after day, week after week, year after year, the death toll mounts of worker drones of the elite.

    Rubbing salt into the wound Key, Joyce, Bridges and their elk allow the captains of industry to buy their way out of justice, as clearly illustrated by the dirty deal Key-National brokered for Peter Whittall to never face criminal charges as he should have.

  4. big bruv 4

    “The National Government don’t like the idea of unionists getting together in groups and organising at the taxpayers expense.”

    Gee, I wonder why?

    What about this for an idea, how about the low life unionists get together in groups and organise at their OWN expense?

    Why is it that you people think you should have unlimited access to tax payer funds?

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      You’re neither bright, bruv, or financially literate. ACC worked out earlier on that it was cheaper for the taxpayer to fund injury prevention and that training workers reps was a viable part of that program. And nobody but you is saying ‘unlimited access to taxpayer funds’. Of course, as someone who doesn’t like paying debts to individuals or society, you’re in no position to comment anyway.

    • Skinny 4.2

      Big bruv you need to seek help angry man. Sounds like you have been up to no good the way your attacking workers (Unions). Your glass house spraying about paying debts is ‘cough’ strange considering you defaulted paying up $100 bet you lost on here.

  5. big bruv 5

    Te Reo

    What is “viable” about the unions ripping off the system?

    Or does that not matter?, is it ok for unions to rip off the tax payer, is it ok for union thugs like McCarten to not pay his tax?

    Why is it that you lot are so hypocritical?

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      D’oh! McCarten owes nothing. The subsidiary organisation that is associated with his employer has come to a repayment arrangement with IRD, just like many other entities who owe tax. Big whoop. I’m more concerned with your own failure to repay debts and your chronic inability to work out what the reply button is for. Early onset dementia may be that answer to both.

      • big bruv 5.1.1

        McCarten took money off the fools dumb enough to join his union and failed to pass those taxes onto the government. Now, you can try and spin that any way you like but the fact remains that he did not pay what he owes the taxpayer.

        I am concerned that the corrupt Labour party has employed a man who does not pay his taxes as chief of staff (and lets be honest here, that is also untrue, McCarten has been employed by the corrupt Labour party to be the campaign manager because they are so broke they cannot afford to pay him) yet in usual left wing fashion you lot excuse him simply because he is on the same team.

        I have always known that left wing politics is corrupt, this only goes to reinforce that view.

        • Te Reo Putake 5.1.1.1

          Corruption is something you’d know more about that me, Bruv. And I find it disappointing that a champion of business such as your good self can be so ignorant of NZ commercial and tax law. McCarten is not personally liable for the debt. The entity that does owe the tax has come to a mutually satisfactory deal with IRD, as do hundreds of businesses each year.

          You can smear all you want, but Unite is a voluntary organisation and it’s members are free to leave if they don’t like any aspect of the way it operates. But they don’t. They stay, because it offers good value to them.

          Why do you hate the free market, Bruv?

    • Murray Olsen 5.2

      “Union thugs”?? You poor scared little piece of garbage. Have you got the sandbags up around your house yet for when the union thugs arrive? The thuggery I see comes from employers who send workers down unsafe mines, forestry businesses that send workers out to risk death, police that are happy to send obviously innocent young men to prison, WINZ workers who send people off with no food and even less hope……… I don’t see unions doing any of that. I do see their members get run over on picket lines while the poaka watch on. And all the likes of you ever do is grovel at the feet of your “betters”, repeating their absurd mantras while you wait for whatever they’re willing to trickle all over you. Pffft.

  6. big bruv 6

    Te Reo

    Why do you overlook left wing corruption so easily?

    Do you not see how hypocritical you look?

    • xtasy 6.1

      big bruv needs a big hug, from a motherly kind of person, but as he/she never got that, the lack of sympathy and sharing ability is evident. It is HATE, hate, and more hate, of attack and none else. Big bruv, see a counselor please, you need some help!

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Housing report earns Nats the red card
    National’s failure to acknowledge and fix the housing crisis will be their legacy. Labour will tackle the housing crisis head-on, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    5 days ago
  • Sluggish growth reflects nine years of drift from National
    Today’s GDP figures reflect an economy that the National Government has allowed to drift along on the basis of growing population rather than improving productivity and adding value, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is important to recognise that ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s campaign of deception an affront to democracy
    Voters this week have a clear choice between Labour’s optimism and honesty, or rewarding National’s campaign of relentless lies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Day after day National has been deliberately spreading lies about Labour, our intentions and what ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s economy scorecard: D for drift
    New Zealand’s economy is failing the very people it is supposed to uplift, characterised by stalled productivity, exports going backwards and a Government content to let it drift, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Voters have a clear choice ...
    6 days ago
  • Another day – another health crisis
    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    6 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    7 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    7 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    7 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    7 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    7 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    7 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    7 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    3 weeks ago