Labour robs Comrade Paul to pay Comrade Peter – New Universal Union bombshell will silence $100k PSA critics

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Government announces ‘Fair Pay Agreements’ plan in radical overhaul of New Zealand employment laws

The Government has announced a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s labour laws, with a policy package that will supercharge the institutional power of unions and place centralised wage bargaining back at the heart of industrial relations law.

The new Fair Pay Agreement system, announced in Auckland today, is explicitly designed to put a floor under wages by allowing unions to negotiate on an industry-wide basis. If 10 per cent of a workforce, or 1000 workers agree, a new Fair Pay Agreement can be enacted.

The relevant union will then have power to negotiate directly with an employer group covering the sector that will be compelled to negotiate to create the agreement. Any resulting agreement will set minimum ordinary time wages and conditions, overtime, penalty rates across the country. Regional variations to account for cost of living will be able to be built into the system and strikes will be prohibited during negotiations.

The agreements will cover all workers – union and non-union – but as part of the deal unions can apply for union members to receive extra wages up to the value of their union fees.

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What a stroke of strategic genius this was.

It’s almost as if Labour strategists looked deep into the soul of their likely critics, put together a strategy that elicited the exact response you could predict from those critics, and implemented it ruthlessly.

1 – Quietly tell the PSA no pay rises for 3 years.

2 – Greens and PSA go into meltdown screaming for gold plated $100k public service jobs  

3 – Announce Universal Union Membership WHILE giving the CTU $250k to help implement it.

4 – Critics shut the fuck up because Labour have just pulled out the greatest workers rights upgrade since the 1908 blackball miners strike and the public won’t tolerate strikes from public servants being paid $100 000. 

That’s how you do it.

This Fair Pay Agreement is Universal Unionism that erodes PSA influence while rapidly expanding private sector unions.

The bosses will scream but only the exploiters that working class unions like UTU are uncovering will be genuinely hurt by this.

Workers rights become universally strengthened, Bad bugger bosses get hurt and the Wellington bureaucratic elites lose political influence.

That’s a win win win.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Brilliant. This is a big step. Get all the workers into Unions so they have some real clout. This will cause the Natz to have a fit. Be interesting to see which commenters think this is a bad idea.

  2. I accept that you are close to the action than I am but my understanding of the governments wage freeze is that those on $60000 have little chance of a pay rise and those over $100000 have no show . This pay freeze includes high performing medical workers who are in short supply round the World and if they feel they are not valued then they will go and our poorly staffed hospitals will fall further back.
    All a wage freeze does is bottle up resentment and then there is an enormous amount need to catch up . This is what happened to the nurses and teachers during the GFC and was bitterly opposed by Labour .
    Australia is now nearly 100 per cent open to those that feel they are undervalued

    • Workers that earn between 60k and 100k are still able to go up in pay scale. Time served for nurses, teachers etc all get automatic pay rises every year in the job and promotions still attract relevant pay rises.. This is only for people earning over the 100k mark who are earning above what their job would normally attract.

  3. In boxing terms, this is yet another “feint followed by a sneaky left hook”… That’s three in a row now… i know the comparisons with the “1938” labour government have been thrown about ad nauseam, but this crew is showing more than a hint of flint… What next? A ministry of “building state houses” works… ? Do we dare to dream?

  4. The Natz as you call them won’t have a fit.
    Instead they will attempt to turn this legislation to their advantage.
    That’s how politics works.
    To me it’s a return to the old “ Awards” system.
    Whether this benefits NZ as a whole remains to be seen.
    I hope it does.

    • I’m old enough to remember the award system. It did at least guarantee the working person a liveable income. Something not really available under the current mafia system.
      Your assesment of the Natz is pretty spot on.
      I too hope this benefits NZ, but I will settle for benifitting working people first.

  5. The employee can chose their representative (in fact form their own union). Expect a outbreak on new unions to be formed.

    How long before a union is formed that takes a gold coin donation for a union membership card? All employees will be unionised.

    And will there be competition between existing unions for membership increases. Can see the situation where one union will sign up 10% of a given workforce only for another union (possibly formed by the employees) to reach the 11% mark and thus become the representative union.

    Union patch wars?

  6. Taking the wind out of people trying for actual change…in the name of smoke and mirrors…like thats a good thing….

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