National is making a total mess of industrial relations. Two different news items yesterday tell the same story. The unions are angry:
PM broke his word to unions says Kelly
A union leader has written a “Dear John” letter to Prime Minister John Key, effectively announcing a divorce between unions and the Government and accusing him of breaking his word.
Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly has criticised Mr Key for leaving the unions out of the labour law reforms he announced last weekend at the party’s national conference. The changes include extending the 90-day trial period to all employers and requiring employer consent for union access to workplaces. …
“You also said you wanted to work with the unions,” she wrote. “And you portrayed yourself as a moderating influence in employment law matters. That has changed.” … Ms Kelly’s letter said the law changes were a “slur” on workers and painted them as “lazy, untrustworthy skivers that are out of control and need to be disciplined”.
The teachers are angry:
Teacher salary negotiations stall
Negotiations between the Ministry of Education and the union representing secondary school teachers have stalled, with the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) walking away from the bargaining table after what it calls 13 fruitless sessions.
“The ministry has had a month since members overwhelmingly rejected its unacceptable offer and it has come back to the table with nothing new – we are not going to waste members’ time and money talking about the same thing over and over,” PPTA president Kate Gainsford said. Ms Gainsford said the ministry appeared to have no will to address teachers’ concerns and continued to undervalue teachers.
That’s an awful lot of angry voters. Nats beware. Nice Mr Key could so quickly become Dear John…