Union rejects ERA recommendation

October 17th, 2009 at 10:12 am by David Farrar

I have not followed the bus dispute in Auckland very closely, but find this story interesting:

The Employment Relations Authority has made public its recommendations to settle the pay dispute between NZ Bus and Auckland drivers.

The ERA suggested a wage increase of 4.2 per cent for the first 16 months, back-paid to July this year, then 3.9 per cent for the next 14 months from November next year.

Both increases amounted to 70 cents an hour.

The collective agreement would expire on December 31, 2011 after the Rugby World Cup, ERA recommended.

NZ Bus agreed to the recommendations and requested they should be released to the public.

So the employer is willing to accept the ERA recommendation, but it is the union that is not.

I note inflation is now running at 1.2%.

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25 Responses to “Union rejects ERA recommendation”

  1. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..I note inflation is now running at 1.2%…”

    maybe you should also ‘note’..

    .. these are really low-paid workers…

    (just above the minimum wage..)

    (having had 18 years of being screwed/ignored by both of the ‘old’ parties..)

    and you are begrudging them a 70 cents an hour increase..over two years..?

    that’s $28 per week..(before tax) ..after two years..!)

    whoar..!

    eh..?

    (‘holy (absent) milk of human kindness/fairness..!..batman..!..”)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    [DPF: You should read the article. It is the union refusing the 70c increases, not the employer.]

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  2. peterwn (3,275 comments) says:

    That is not the point. The union and Mike Lee (ARC) want NZ Bus to walk. There is some urgency as I think the last thing Mike wants is Snapper on the Auckland buses.

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  3. big bruv (13,929 comments) says:

    Phool

    Imagine how much more these unskilled workers would take home if they did not have thousands of bludgers like you and Natasha Fuller stealing money from them every week.

    Do you ever consider this before posting?

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  4. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    bruv..

    my measly d.p.b is far overshadowed by the likes of english/heatley..eh..?

    and so so much else..

    i must bow to them as the masters..

    and also..i reckon i’m making a fair fist of the job i am contracted to do..

    ..unlike .. say..many of those who surround key..?

    and no..i do not feel my being in receipt of that dpb..

    in any way should curtail my rights to free-speech/opinion..

    eh..?

    “..’m..kay..?..”

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  5. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    Read the article philu, it is the union behaving like fuckwits.

    Have you ever considered that perhaps wages follow skill level?

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  6. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    The audacity of saying the unions are acting like fuckwits is unfucking believable.

    Yes they refused the offer, after NZ Bus has acted like right dick-heads. They were going to protest at abysmal treatment and pay conditions (this is just compared to other ‘reasonable’ bus companies who do not try and screw their staff – i.e. Birkenhead transport) and their minor protest was not to do anything beyond what they are contractually enforced to do. Somehow refusing to speed was seen as ‘dangerous’ by NZ Bus and they through their toys and locked them out. Their request is pretty reasonable. They wanted I believe a$1 increase, and considering their wage is next to the minimum PLUS they have 4 hours in the middle of thier day which are unpaid (effectively having 12 hour days) its pretty shit conditions. Not to mention we subsidised the dickheads (NZ Bus) more than their entire wage bill every year.

    They are a disgrace, and should start losing contracts left right and centre. Fuck NZ Bus and go the union.

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  7. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    nckb..as a pimply-faced student..working part-time..

    have you emailed your ‘thanks’ to sue bradford..?..yet..?

    for her private members’ bill that ended the gross exploitation of ‘youth rates’..?

    something you personally..must have benifitted from..

    c’mon now..!

    don’t be churlish..!

    send the email..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  8. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    Do you feel a tinge of guilt that these overworked, overtaxed people are paying for your lifestyle?

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  9. LUCY (359 comments) says:

    Fuck the Union and go NZ Bus.

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  10. billyborker (1,102 comments) says:

    nickb (656) Vote: 0 1 Says:

    October 17th, 2009 at 11:28 am
    Read the article philu, it is the union behaving like fuckwits.

    Have you ever considered that perhaps wages follow skill level?

    I once thought that, until I saw the massive wages paid to people who drive companies in to the ground. Look how much Teresa Gattung was paid and the mess she left at Telecom. Or how much here successor is getting to preside over the continuing demise of Telecom.

    How much did F+P pay the clowns who ran that business so successfully that it is soon to be a subsidiary of Hair? Or PGG wrightson heading the same way? Not to mention the Crafers. And tha’s just a few examples from NZ, look around the world and you’ll see the same pattern.

    It was once said “pay peanuts, get monkeys” and yet now we are paying macadamias and STILL getting monkeys.

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  11. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    Well BB unless you are a shareholder you have no say in how much these people get paid.

    We as taxpayers (not philu) have a vested interest in this, as we have found that 6 figures a day of our tax money is going to prop up this business, and yet the unions still scream for more.

    And philu, re youth rates (I’ve never been on minimum wage as you state) what do you have to say to those students who can’t find a job over summer because egotistical politicians state that they must be paid more than some potential employers can afford???

    *waits for generalisations, smears and obfuscation about greedy capitalists, corporate greed, etc etc*

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  12. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    Perhaps Phil Ure should get a job as a union hack – he doesn’t want to work, he wants someone else to support his chosen lifestyle, and he hates bosses with a passion – strikes me that it’s a perfect match :-)

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  13. big bruv (13,929 comments) says:

    As much as I despise the parliamentary troughers Phool, at least they work for a living.

    You, do not.

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  14. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    “I once thought that, until I saw the massive wages paid to people who drive companies in to the ground.”

    The impact of skill level on wages is best seen in aggregate, you cannot expect everyones wage to exactly match their skill. It is also a rule that is unlikely hold at the extremes.

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  15. Chris C (126 comments) says:

    Except the drivers weren’t just striking over pay.

    Paying them $14 an hour – the same rate as drivers in Wellington, and which is well below the rate drivers in Christchurch working for Red Bus or Christchurch Bus get – was only one item. The drivers were also striking over safety issues – NZ Bus routinely ask the drivers to break speed limits and therefore the law in order to keep timing, that not all buses are equipped with radios and that buses with minor defects wouldn’t be taken out. The second point is extremely important, because one driver in Auckland who didn’t have a radio was seriously assaulted and couldn’t call for help. The only thing that stopped that poor bastard getting it even worse was that passengers stepped in and stopped it.

    NZ Bus have been framing it like a strike, when it was a work to rule – NZ Bus are the ones who refused the work to rule and locked the drivers out. NZ Bus, owned by Infratil, are trying to force the drivers to break the law and risk their own safety. And if a driver gets caught speeding, the company won’t be fined, the drivers will. If the drivers have trouble on the road, the lack of radio won’t affect NZ Bus, but it’ll affect the driver. And if the driver has been forced to drive a bus that’s not fit to drive on the road, but has been coerced by his manager and threatened with his job, then NZ Bus don’t pay for that if anything goes wrong, the drivers – and passengers – will.

    In a recession – which Infratil are loving – pay rates don’t follow skill, because the excuse for not matching pay rates that have lagged behind is “we’re in a recession”. The drivers have been underpaid and asked to take risks above and beyond their pay rates for years. This isn’t the first dispute against NZ Bus, and it wasn’t all hunky-dory under Stagecoach either.

    Fuck NZ bus. In 2009, Aucklanders – including their own drivers – subsidise them $94m a year and Wellingtonians subsidise them $21m, both for monopolies. Then you pay fares that increase every year at above the rate of inflation, and the subsidies rise every year too.

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  16. calendar girl (1,242 comments) says:

    “Somehow refusing to speed was seen as ‘dangerous’ by NZ Bus and they through (sic) their toys and locked them out. Their request is pretty reasonable. They wanted I believe a$1 increase ….”

    That’s a naive acceptance of the union’s carefully-orchestrated apologetic that “working to rule” somehow means refusing to break the road rules. We all know differently. Work-to-rule, recognised as strike action and met in this case by an employer lock-out, involves a wide range of disruptive and customer-hostile practices that are designed to damage the employer as much as possible while allowing drivers to continue to be paid in full. What a great lark to be on.

    Are the drivers saying that they usually drive dangerously as a matter of course? If so, that’s disgraceful – and cannot be condoned. Why has the union exposed this alleged situation only now when it has its hand out for pay rises well above the rate of CPI inflation? The whole thing reeks of a scam, and many Aucklanders see it as such.

    There is a strange absence of logic about what is going on:
    * The buses are not commercially viable without massive public subsidies.
    * Even after subsidies, the cost to passengers / customers is far above what is required to induce significantly higher numbers of Aucklanders to leave their cars.
    * That means that the underlying business model doesn’t work. It doesn’t even go close. Hence the lower quartile wage levels and a reluctance to increase the total wage bill at a greater rate than the growth of the business.
    * Already each driver has had to sacrifice more than a week’s pay to support their union’s position. That must be equivalent to close to a quarter of the 30-month pay increase presently on offer. How incredibly sad.

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  17. big bruv (13,929 comments) says:

    Why the fuck are we subsidising ANY form of transport?

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  18. Chris C (126 comments) says:

    Because the economic and social benefits of having a working public transport system outweigh the subsidy costs.

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  19. jabba (280 comments) says:

    why do people, such as philu keep comparing the salary of Bill English with those in low paid work .. talk about chalk and cheese.
    I actually agree with billyborker re the salary paid to people who run/ran companies into the ground, or near to it.
    These people demand big bucks, they get the big bucks and bonus payments when things hum along and yet still keep high salaries and still get bonuses when things crash and burn.
    Now, philu, please explain to us all why some of our people (unilike Turia, I consider all NZ’s as our people) get lower wages than others? the answer is simple but i would like your opinion.

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  20. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    the end results/outcomes from the (failed) rightwing revolution/’the great experiment’..

    part of that revolution formula was to smash the unions..

    and to ‘keep costs down’/profits high..

    by screwing down workers wages..

    the fucken morons couldn’t work out that if they got their way..which they did..

    .. where workers have only subsistance wages/are screwed down….

    they are unable to buy the widgets/gadgets on sale..

    which brings us to now..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  21. kiki (425 comments) says:

    I take interest in the wages of those high earners as they effect the wages of us low earners. My interest is how their wages are justified?

    I would use Contact energy as an example as I own shares as well. The management drove away customers knocked down the share returns and price and have now given themselves a pay rise. Also Andrew Ferrier lost NZ farmers 300 million in China, smiles and keeps on going yet I know of a man who lost his job for taking rubbish destined for the bin.

    And finally in the US it was the most highly paid that ran to to taxpayer for handouts when they screwed up putting the bill on the lowest paid.

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  22. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    “I take interest in the wages of those high earners as they effect the wages of us low earners.”

    No, those earning lower than you actually affect your wage much more than those at the top. The fact that some CEO’s get huge pay packets doesnt affect your wage very much at all.

    If the highest earner at Telecom reduced their salary by 50%, by how much would the lower paid workers wages increase?

    Answer: not a cent, the money would stay with the share holders.

    People on the very high wages are not earning at the cost of the lower paid. There isnt a pool of money called “wages” that MUST be spent on labour.

    If the supplier of timber to a house building company suddenly cut their prices by 50%, would you expect every other supplier to that company to start earning more?

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  23. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Isnt it funny to see phule wank on about subsistence wages? The DPB is closer to subsistence than any salary and he does more than subsist on it.

    Logically, anyone that is actually working must be earning more, and therefore cannot be earning just a subsistence wage.

    Phule just disproved his own point.

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  24. reid (16,509 comments) says:

    “the end results/outcomes from the (failed) rightwing revolution/’the great experiment’..”

    Phil, why is it that you lefties to a man, fail always to acknowledge the complete and utter global failures of both Communism and Keynesianism?

    I mean, here in NZ, we had the Muldoon failure – he was a Keynesian, so was the UK, so was the US. The utter utter failure leading to wait for it – stagflation – arose because of Keynesian economics.

    Do none of you recall the state of the global economies at the time of Carter, Callaghan et al? Are you blind?

    Then what happened when Thatcher and Reagan and Douglas came to power? Well, nothing really, just the revival of the global capital markets and world trade. Not to mention the complete collapse of the command economy model practised in Soviet Russia.

    Fact is, Keynes failed, Hayek won. Results are in, no question. Case closed.

    Of course, those who think someone else owes them a living are really pissed. Smell the roses phil et al. Smell em.

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  25. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    have you discounted/ignored the ongoing collapse of the freemarket/rightwing model..?

    going on around about now..?

    and ..y’know..!..the reasons for the failure of the control/command communist model .. in russia..

    (but let’s not forget china..eh..?)

    these reasons are a tad more complex/nuanced..

    than the rise of the evil twins…reagan and thatcher…

    eh..?

    the whole rightwing thing.has made the top one percent..eyewateringly wealthier..

    and has just fucked over everyone else..

    (bye-bye affluent/secure middle-class..!..)

    with the income gap now a chasm..

    world hunger/poverty unchanged/unfixed..

    and the environment about to go down the toilet..

    time to do things differently..?..maybe..?

    a ‘serious rethink’..?..on the whole stinking mess..?

    (didn’t they do well..?..

    eh..?..those freemarketeers..!..eh..?..)

    and of course..what must really grind yr ideological-gears..

    is that a communist country..china..

    is the global economic success story..

    (an economy full of support/protection for local industries..

    and other facts that are an anathema/risible to you’re freemarketeer-model..

    yet..a success story..

    and they now pretty much ‘own’ america..

    (which is one of your ideological fountainheads..eh..?

    ouch..!..that must hurt..!

    or..are you still in some sorta denial about that fact..?)

    and hey..!

    how about those countries least effected by the meltdown..?

    y’know..!

    those higher-taxing/less-income-chasm/stronger social support for all countries..

    (where the people..(not just the elites/rich) are happiest..

    have a sorta socialism-lite..

    eh..?

    but hey..!

    you just ignore all those facts..eh..?

    and keep those ideological blinkers firmly fixed to your head..

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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