A contradictory story

August 26th, 2012 at 11:27 am by David Farrar

The SST reports:

Some employees say they have been working for up to 10 years on the without receiving any performance or service-related pay rises.

If this is correct, I think BK are short-sighted as you want to give staff opportunities to earn more than the minimum wage. However I don’t think it is correct, based on the same article.

On April 1, when the minimum wage went up to $13.50 from $13, it is alleged many workers also lost a margin they were earning above the minimum wage.

How can you have spent ten years on the minimum wage, yet also lose a margin above the minimum wage? The article appears to be logically inconsistent, or very badly explained.

They were told they had to to earn back their right to that margin by completing “module” training. It is understood staff are being told they need to do the training in their own time.

And this contradicts the claim you can’t get a performance related pay rise.

The female worker said it could take months to complete all the modules and at the end of it there was no guarantee of the pay rise.

Umm, that’s because it is performance related I presume.

What would have made this a far more useful article is to state what the basic pay rate at BK is, how extra pay can be earnt and maybe compare it to the minimum wage.

Sadly thought the article just repeats a number of apparently contradictory assertions and gives us no actual hard data to decide on.

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44 Responses to “A contradictory story”

  1. infused (636 comments) says:

    Yeah just read the pile of crap as well… 10years on min wage? Find another job… I worked at bk from 2000-2002. Quite enjoyed it actually.

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  2. David Garrett (6,400 comments) says:

    Perhaps it’s too early on a sunday morn DPF…but why are you surprised that that rag of a newspaper contains a poorly written story which is confused and contradictory?

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  3. Psycho Milt (2,262 comments) says:

    The article appears to be logically inconsistent

    Not really. “Many” workers lost an additional payment; “some” have been on minimum wage throughout. Those two statements aren’t contradictory.

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  4. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    How can you have spent ten years on the minimum wage, yet also lose a margin above the minimum wage? The article appears to be logically inconsistent, or very badly explained.

    Seems straight forward to me. As the article says, ‘some workers’ have been on the minimum wage for 10 years’ – also- ‘many workers also lost a margin they were earning above the minimum wage’

    Perfectly logical. Set A and set B are mutually exclusive.

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  5. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    One might also argue that taking the modules are an aspect of said ‘performance’ therefore it’s possible that completion of them might result in a change of pay-scale. As opposed to taking them and then being told you wasted your f**n time as there was no incentive other than the fear of losing your job to do them.

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  6. hmmokrightitis (1,508 comments) says:

    You have to ask, how is it someone, anyone, would allow themselves to be stuck in a job paying minimum wage for 10 years and do NOTHING whatsoever about that?

    Im almost certain these people would have at least an hour a day they could use for study, take a course, improve themselves in some way. Just one hour. Not that hard is it, really?

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  7. Brian Smaller (3,989 comments) says:

    I guess some people have zero ambition. The job that they were doing for ten years is a min-wage job. If that is the limit of their aspirations then they are being paid exactly the right amount.

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  8. hmmokrightitis (1,508 comments) says:

    Fair point Brian, but then why do they whinge about the fact that they are still getting minimum wage? The article highlighted the worker of ten years saying they were more skilled than a new joiner – but surely flipping burgers takes 10 minutes to learn – its not rocket science. If you are still doing the same job you were doing when you started 10 years ago, why the hell should you be paid more for it, other than when minimum age changes?

    What am I missing here? Flipping a burger ten years ago took the same level of skill it takes today, right?

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  9. Paulus (2,500 comments) says:

    Don’t spoil the story with the facts.
    Usual Sunday bullshit based on sweet f.a.

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  10. jims_whare (398 comments) says:

    I worked at BK’s between May 2001 – June 2002.

    For the first 3 months I was on $7.70/hr (min wage)

    They then gave me a promotion to an hourly manager (Some hours on $7.70/hr & some on $9.90/hr when doing managerial work)

    After 9 months of this they gave me another promotion to a assistant manager where I got paid $24,000 pa for working a minimum of 50 hours a week (oh and a free manager meal per shift up to the value of around $7-8)

    It wasn’t big bucks then and probably still isn’t – but promotions were there for those motivated enough to seek them.

    Having got to an assistant manager position I then left when I got a retail manager’s job with service station.

    Wouldn’t have got this job without the promotions through BK so I hold no hard feelings against them.

    The majority of staff who work for BK’s tend to be lowly motivated, some smoke pot, and tend to work to their pay rate (do the bare minimum)

    I didn’t want to stay on that forever so I tried to work harder than the rest of my work mates. It was an example of how to get ahead and how to stand out from the crowd.

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  11. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    Its all just a Union PR stunt to get people to join, make outreagous statements, use incidents to garner public sympathy, take on company, get media onside, unionise work force.

    Not hard to work out whats going on here.

    And regards to the being on min wage for 10 years, you have to ask why someone would still be on min wage for that long. Possibly because they have no skill, or drive.

    My wage margin over min wage went down every time the Labour govt increased it, who do I complain to over that? I think most of NZ did, because the min wage went up way faster than it should have.

    Eventually the likes of BK and Maccas will only have a few staff to work the counter, as they’ll find it cheaper to use robots to cook and make burgers, than staff, resulting in the Unions and those wanting higher min wages costing most of these staff their jobs. Especially the one who’s been on min wage for 10 years.

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  12. Alan Johnstone (1,062 comments) says:

    “Im almost certain these people would have at least an hour a day they could use for study, take a course, improve themselves in some way. Just one hour. Not that hard is it, really?”

    Some people simply don’t have the intellectual hardware for it though. Working off a bell curve, it says that there will be around 1.2 million people in NZ with an IQ of below 90.

    No need to demonize them, as a society we need to accept that many people simply aren’t capable of jobs that require any level of abstract though or decision making.

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  13. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Perhaps Unite are just hawking memberships to help pay the PAYE debt, interest and penalties to Inland Revenue?

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  14. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Not that I would eat at Burger King or Hell Pizza any more, but if I did, I would prefer to pay 50c extra a burger or a $1.50 more a pizza to ensure people could earn a decent wage.

    One concept people haven’t discussed in this debate is tipping in New Zealand. Is it time to consider tipping? For example, a pizza delivery person turns up with your $26 order, you give them $30 and say “keep the change”. Or tipping 10 – 20% at restaurants. This would be a practical and ‘voluntary’ way to shift money between the rich and poor. Moreover, it would enable less worker friendly or managerial consumers to exercise performance pay actions – 10% average service, 20% excellent service.

    Those of us who just want to reward a worker for having a difficult and underpaid job could just pay 15% all the time.

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  15. Nostradamus (2,943 comments) says:

    Hamnida:

    You heartless person!

    Now that you’re not eating Burger King and Hell Pizza, and if a number of others follow suit, then the staff who work there may lose their jobs…

    And when did you last pay 15% extra?

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  16. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    15% extra – on Friday.

    I was getting a neckline and side burn trim at the barber, as I normally do between full haircuts.

    The barber asked for $6, I gave him $10 and left the change.

    I doubt I will have much influence, if any, on whether people eat at Burger King and Hell.

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  17. wat dabney (3,671 comments) says:

    Hamnida,

    Not that I would eat at Burger King or Hell Pizza any more, but if I did, I would prefer to pay 50c extra a burger or a $1.50 more a pizza to ensure people could earn a decent wage.

    Is it your position that no one should be allowed to be employed in a position which doesn’t pay a “living wage”?

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  18. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Yes, the minimum wage should be enough to live a decent life on. Nothing fancy, but at least get by. I don’t think $13.50 an hour in NZ is enough.

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  19. Keeping Stock (10,100 comments) says:

    Your economic analysis is far too simplistic Hamnida. I employ over 40 staff, all of whom earn far more than the minimum wage. But just imagine for a moment that I hire someone who rocks up to my business with no skills, but a really good attitude. I start them on $14/hr. Then the minimum wage goes up to $15/hour, and increase of around 12.5%. What happens then to my $16/hr accounts clerk? Suddenly, her job is no longer worth $2/hour more than the new hire. So I put her wages up by 12.5% too. Then the office manager comes and sees me, and reminds me that the $2.50/hour margin that she enjoys over the accounts clerk who she manages has been eroded. So I give her a 12.5% increase too.

    Suddenly, my wage bill for my 40 staff has increased by $150,000 per annum, and any fat that was in the business has gone, replaced by a $150k hole in the budget. What do I do; retrench people? Stop paying my bills?

    You see this is what those who push for a $15 minimum wage don’t get. Small business simply can’t cope with an across-the-board 12.5% wage rise, and many will simply close the doors because business conditions have simply got untenable. We have had three lean years in retail, and we’ve economised as best we can without our staff feeling the pinch. But that quite simply can’t happen forever. Those who keep their jobs will be comforted by earning $15/hr, but a whole lot more will go from $13.50/hr to whatever the hourly rate of the dole is. Who wins then?

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  20. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    KS,

    That won’t work with Hamnida. He’s already on record here as saying that everyone should be paid the same amount.

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  21. wat dabney (3,671 comments) says:

    Yes, the minimum wage should be enough to live a decent life on.

    So the state simply legislates to prevent anyone taking a job which doesn’t pay enough to buy a house and a car.

    Well that would rule me out of the first job I ever had than; one that gave me the experience and skills to give me a career which has paid pretty decently over subsequent years.

    I dread to think where I’d be if I hadn’t had that opportunity.

    Yet you would use the threat of state violence to prevent me taking such a job now.

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  22. Psycho Milt (2,262 comments) says:

    One concept people haven’t discussed in this debate is tipping in New Zealand. Is it time to consider tipping?

    Not if you’d like employers to pay employees enough to live on, it isn’t.

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  23. wreck1080 (3,730 comments) says:

    Umm, if you’re still flipping burgers after 10 years you deserve to be on the min. wage.

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  24. peterwn (3,157 comments) says:

    I was in a shop and heard the manager discussing with a staff member about the possibility of being Sunday duty manager. Staff member wanted to know what extra pay, etc he would get. He should have jumped at it without question. He had a golden opportunity to enhance his CV even if he may have been short-changed.

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  25. Viking2 (11,128 comments) says:

    Hamnida (506) Says:
    August 26th, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Yes, the minimum wage should be enough to live a decent life on. Nothing fancy, but at least get by. I don’t think $13.50 an hour in NZ is enough.

    In that case you will have no hesitation in shouting from the roof tops for the removal of the non living wage that has to be paid to young kiwi’s. You know the wage that no one can pay, forcing those same young Kiwi’s to accept the dole at $120.00 per week (an unliveable wage in your opinion and correctly so), rather than earning say $320 or more by having a choice of working for at least $8.00 per hour for 40 hours or possibly more.

    But then I doubt you will see the economic reality of this arrangement forced upon young Kiwi’s by stupid fucking socialists like you and their mothers little helpers in the National Party.

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  26. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    While I want to live in a New Zealand where everyone is paid the same, I acknowledge the political reality of such a desire.

    Thus, I will continue to pursue policies that raise wages for the poorest in society, even if this means making concessions on my substantive view that every should be paid the same.

    In my view flipping burgers is just as hard, if not harder, as working in an office. Driving a bus or rubbish truck is just as important as being a marketing and advertising executive. We only need to look as far as Cuba to see how healthy an equal society can be. For compromise solutions, look no further than Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France.

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  27. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Hamnida,

    You forgot Portugal, Ireland, Greece & Spain

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  28. tom hunter (4,403 comments) says:

    Oh god, are people still engaging the super moron, Hamnida? The guy who claimed he had an economics degree: right!

    We only need to look as far as Cuba to see how healthy an equal society can be.

    When confronted with this degree of dumbness you do have to ask if it’s just good trolling – but only because it would seem beyond belief that anybody could be that pig-ignorant about that island prison.

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  29. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    tom hunter – Cuba has a world class health system.

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  30. nasska (10,659 comments) says:

    Hamnida

    The comrades have been giving you a guided tour of the garden path.

    Ref: http://www.therealcuba.com/Page10.htm

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  31. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    nasska – Working men are not fooled by right wing propaganda.

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  32. nasska (10,659 comments) says:

    Hamnida

    No. They get fooled by socialist propaganda merchants.

    Tell us…..do you think that North Korea is a basketcase or is Dear Leader No 3 on the money? :)

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  33. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Even the CIA notes Cuba’s successes:

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cu.html

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  34. jims_whare (398 comments) says:

    Hey – nothing wrong with Cuba. Don’t you see all those illegal American immigrants trying to enter Cuba by boat?

    Oh hang on opps…………hmmm thats right the other way round

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  35. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I am not promoting North Korea.

    I think there are issues with the current and former Leaders.

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  36. tom hunter (4,403 comments) says:

    I think there are issues with the current and former Leaders.

    Thump ….

    Thump ….

    Thump ….

    My head on the keyboard or someone hitting Hamnida’s skull with a wet beet – readers, you choose!

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  37. Psycho Milt (2,262 comments) says:

    Hey, give him a break – there are issues with the current and former leaders. You know, the issues with them running a particularly insane Stalinist dictatorship. I think we can all recognise if we’re objective about it that there might be some things about murderous totalitarianism that are sub-optimal.

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  38. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I can’t see what the big deal is – I simply acknowledged there are issues with North Korean leadership. I think 99% of the world would agree with that.

    How would have you reacted if I said there are no issues?

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  39. nasska (10,659 comments) says:

    We had that possibility sorted Hammy lad. :)

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  40. Maaik (33 comments) says:

    10 Years on the minimum wage at BK – has somebody calculated for them (because I’m sure they can’t do it for themselves) how much of their pay the unions have sucked up, without getting them off minimum wage?

    Few people realise that, if employers paid workers what they are worth, their net worth to the business is zero. Employment means exploitation – it is just the degree of exploitation that differs.

    OK, for those that lack subtlety……Employment does not mean exploitation, you have to factor in the opportunity cost, and employment of (and risk to) capital, the lack of which is reflected in the margin of salary vs money earned for the company.

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  41. black paul (124 comments) says:

    Maaik: About 1.1 percent of their wages, so a couple of bucks a week. Not much considering the amount of min wage rises that have been secured, along with all the other benefits of membership.

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  42. seanmaitland (455 comments) says:

    @black paul – hold on, the minimum wage rises are nothing to do with the Unions – the workers at Burger King get $0 value out of being in a union. I worked there for 3 years, and if anything it made things worse for those who were with the union when it came to getting shifts etc

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  43. black paul (124 comments) says:

    You worked there for 3 years and it made things worse for those who were in the union? Well yes I imagine that would be the case.

    On your first point you are entirely wrong though. The very existence of a minimum wage is due to workers joining together to form unions, as is just about every other workplace right and benefit, from meal breaks to minimum safety standards.

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  44. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,563 comments) says:

    Hamnida. Have you actually BEEN to Cuba? I have on a few occasions & you’re talking out of your ass.
    It’s dreadfully unequal. The place is run down & the excellent health care myth is for fee paying foreigners, locals can’t afford this “superior” system, of which coincidentally isn’t that good. The education & health system is subsidised entirely from Western tourism in hotels along the Varadero area. It is not a pleasent place to live, notwithstanding the human rights & lack of personal/political freedoms.

    To give me insight, what is your experience in visiting communist or post communist nations?

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