Million dollar union slush fund may be cut

October 1st, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Rob Hosking at NBR reports:

A $1 million government funding to the Council of Trade Unions to run accident prevention workshops is under review.

Minister recently announced a near doubling of the amount of funding the Accident Compensation Corporation makes for accident prevention work, from $22.4 million to $40 million.

However that is accompanied by a review of existing programmes and in an interview with NBR ONLINE Ms Collins said she had told officials there are no sacred cows with regards to existing programmes.

“And I’ve told them if they need to kill sacred cows that need slaughtering, I’ll back them.” 

And in the next breath she queries the value of programmes run by the Council of Trade Unions.

The gets “about a million dollars a year” to run such programmes and she says it is not obvious this is the best use of that money.

“What I want to see is what is working.”

Comparatively few accidents happen in the workplace, she says – about 20%, although these injuries tend to be more serious.

This is beyond excellent. Not only is Judith Collins doubling the amount of funding for accident prevention, she is going to ensure it is actually spent on accident prevention rather than union membership recruitment.

I understand the $1 million a year funding to the CTU was established by a former Labour Deputy Leader when he was ACC Chair. Labour constantly tries to find ways for taxpayers to fund unions so that the unions in turn can fund the Labour Party!

The CTU has responded by hysterically demanding Judith Collins resigns, because she is demanding proof that they actually do anything worthwhile with their $1 million a year.

I understand Business NZ gets some funding also. I’d scrap the funding to both bodies, and use it to run safety campaigns at the coal face.

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41 Responses to “Million dollar union slush fund may be cut”

  1. louie (91 comments) says:

    About time.

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  2. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    Site Safe Passport courses suddenly seem a lot smarter and a lot more worthwhile, since they started streaming their courses so that full-time labourers and suit-wearing consultants don’t spend half a day doing some kind of catch-all course that is supposed to suit both groups of guys.

    If state funding for safety courses is really needed, fund them instead. They are really good.

    Not the gangs.

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  3. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Seeing that unions’ role in health and safety has statutory recognition, it might well be reasonable for some assistance to go their way to help fulfill those responsibilities.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 25 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. All_on_Red (1,489 comments) says:

    Change the statute then.

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  5. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Ok, maybe the ACC Minister should talk to her colleagues about restricting the present right for employee representatives to be involved in health and safety schemes.

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  6. RightNow (6,841 comments) says:

    milky, what success has come from the unions’ role in health and safety so far, particularly in the forestry sector?

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  7. Lance (2,561 comments) says:

    @mikenmild
    Health and Safety professionals biggest headache is unions fighting them at every turn when their members moan about having to use safety gear.

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  8. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    This is fucken corporate welfare:

    Accidents in the workplace arn’t the unions liability – so business shouldn’t be subsidised by public money via the unions!

    It’s a wonder Labour and the Greens didn’t end this Rich Prick Racket when they were in government! :cool:

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  9. Sam Buchanan (502 comments) says:

    “she is going to ensure it is actually spent on accident prevention rather than union membership recruitment.”

    Do you actually have some evidence that this is a ‘slush fund’ spent on recruitment?

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  10. All_on_Red (1,489 comments) says:

    Unions just bludge off the sweat of the workers and give them little in return. Its just a rip off so the Union elite can live the high life with company cars and Koru club memberships. Unions always pick on the weak too and take advantage of their ignorance. What scum unionists are.

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  11. Redbaiter (8,022 comments) says:

    This is only a maybe.

    When it comes to boy racers National are in boots and all.

    When it comes to an ideological battle with the left wing bureaucracy they fold more times than they persevere and prevail.

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  12. JeffW (324 comments) says:

    “I’d scrap the funding to both bodies, and use it to run safety campaigns at the coal face.”

    I’d scrap the funding to both bodies and use it to reduce taxes.

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  13. Monty (966 comments) says:

    Every minister should ask their CEOs what money is funded to unions in any and every form. Be it education, safety, sponsorship, facilities. Then there should be a required justification for such funding to ensure the government and the taxpayer are getting absolute value for money. If not then all such funding should be cut. I suspect that the ACC money is tip of the iceberg stuff.

    Big congratulations to Judith. Hopefully all other ministers will follow her excellent example.

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  14. Sam Buchanan (502 comments) says:

    Ask for evidence – get ‘downticks’. It’s just like talking to Marxists.

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  15. Michael (899 comments) says:

    Only 5% of non-government sector employees are Union members, why do they think they speak for us?

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  16. flipper (3,843 comments) says:

    mikenmild (7,349) Says:
    October 1st, 2013 at 12:07 pm
    Seeing that unions’ role in health and safety has statutory recognition, it might well be reasonable for some assistance to go their way to help fulfill those responsibilities
    *****

    The statutory recognition is for about 9% of the work force ….. including the parasitic PSA….so that could be easily fixed.
    The unions got that because they sought it… a sort entrenching of “power”.

    It seems to me that the unions already have adequate funds to represent their 9%. Of course it is just possible, is it not, that by some clever little switch-a-roo, fees paid by members to assist in salary negotiations, will be diverted to help a certain political party ??? :)

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  17. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    RightNow
    I don’t know anything about that. I am just wondering whether the government is concerned to get worker representatives out of the health and safety system, or just defund the CTU’s role in it.

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  18. RightNow (6,841 comments) says:

    I’m absolutely in favour of having worker representatives involved in health and safety, they should have nominations from all workers (including the 91% non-union members) and a simple election, just as you would for the social club committee.
    I fail to see the need for unions at all in this, since they blame the government for workplace accidents yet they’re running “workshops” funded by the government. Axing the funding/not axing the funding, either way they’ll blame National, so what’s the loss?

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  19. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    Sam Buchanan – Unions LIE. CTU LIES.

    Remember the CTU LIES about what striking Ports of Auckland employees were getting paid, and their hours?

    Bold, bare-faced LIARS.

    So if they say the $1m the govt gives them is used for accident prevention workshops, they are LYING.

    I hope this has been of some help ;-)

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  20. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    “Site Safe Passport courses suddenly seem a lot smarter and a lot more worthwhile,”

    Id rather pull each of my finger nails off than attend another site safe course. Not everybody is a retard. Most of us don’t need to be told how to stand on a ladder safely by some shrieking half wit. Complete waste of time and money and an unnecessary cost to business as is the Dangerous Goods and Hasno course. Keeps people like Milkmike in a job I suppose who otherwise, would be on the dole.

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  21. bc (1,353 comments) says:

    Sam

    Use of logic and facts is not welcome here. The ability to question rather than just rely on stereotypes and bigotry is definitely not welcome here. You will be downticked accordingly!

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  22. burt (8,025 comments) says:

    Imagine – The unions might need to actually fund raise before they can donate money to Labour – god forbid we don’t let the unions have free access to tax payers money – Labour will never win another election again without illegal spending …. No wonder the unions are screaming …

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  23. Fisiani (993 comments) says:

    All government funding of trade unions across every Ministry should be carefully examined. There are lots of examples of slush funds that could be spent on schools and hospitals.

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  24. Sam Buchanan (502 comments) says:

    “Unions LIE. CTU LIES.”

    That doesn’t suprise me in the least.

    “So if they say the $1m the govt gives them is used for accident prevention workshops, they are LYING.”

    Ah, so you are asserting, as evidence, that since you think they lied about one thing, they must lie about everything? So you’d assert that if the CTU says the world is round, you’d assert that it must be flat?

    I note also that on right-wing blogs ‘lie’ can mean ‘an untruth’ or ‘somebody I don’t like said something, quite possibly in good faith, but which was proved to be wrong’ or ‘somebody intepreted facts in a way I disagree with’ or simply ‘somebody said something I disagree with’. In which sense are you using the word?

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  25. edhunter (520 comments) says:

    Unions have a part to play especially informing & educating employees that the measures introduced aren’t there to make the job harder but to make it safer. When I walk around workshops & see safety guards removed in the vast majority of cases it’s the employee who has removed it to make their job easier ok it’s also now more dangerous but the rationale is only an idiot would put his hand where it shouldn’t be. (probably why all my shop teachers were missing digits)

    Of course the danger is we’ll become like OZ where OHS is an industry in it’s own right, & is actually becoming an impediment to doing good business. I’ve got workers with 40+yrs of experience not allowed to use the first rung on a ladder until they’ve completed a 1/2 day Working at Heights course! NZ isn’t as far gone as OZ is but it’s fast heading that way.

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  26. burt (8,025 comments) says:

    Unions have a part to play …

    Yes I agree – they remind us how socialists will pretend to be concerned about low income workers while using the fees extracted from them to pay for advertising for highly paid politicians. The part they play is making sure that Labour politicians get to keep all of their own salary in their own back pocket – thanks to the fleecing the back pocket of low paid workers.

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  27. itstricky (1,696 comments) says:

    Yes I agree – they remind us how socialists will pretend to be concerned about low income workers while using the fees extracted from them to pay for advertising for highly paid politicians…

    …to enact laws that are more favourable for employees, rather than employers.

    Thus we go full circle, and benefit the original low income worker. It doesn’t end with the politician. You’re have one eye larger than the other if you think it’s just about the political personalities that you don’t like.

    Just like corporate lobbying, donations and sponsorship help to enact laws that are more favourable of business.

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  28. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    Leeching unions deserve nothing, they are a hindrance to business, they use any money raised to support privileged and indulgent lifestyles for their executives, and to top that off, support left-wing political parties that do nothing but harm commercial enterprises with restrictive practices and outlandish demands. They should receive nothing from taxpayers, whom they attempt to frustrate at every opportunity, and frankly, looking at union leaders, are just trash.

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  29. edhunter (520 comments) says:

    Look I’m no lover of unions, (I was a member in my first job out school working in a bank, never again) but they have played a significant part in the birth & growth of our nation, sure they may now be a relic of a bygone era & for the good they’ve done there’s also been bad, but to dismiss them all as socialist commie scum is lazy & disingenuous.

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  30. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Unions have played a leading role in the development of working conditions that most people take for granted in a first world country. Their role and influence has diminished in recent decades, but they are still there to advance the interests of their members in such matter.

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  31. RightNow (6,841 comments) says:

    I accept that unions have achieved a lot for workers’ rights in the past, and that not all of them are socialist commie scum, but it has to be also accepted that a number of unions became the equivalent of organised criminals. “Advancing” the interests of their members is often to the detriment of other citizens, usually those less fortunate than union members. I think there’s no place for taxpayer money to be spent supporting unions in such circumstances.

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  32. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    RightNow
    The unionists I have worked with have all done their best to represent their fellow workers. I reject your comparison with organised crime, but your statement about past achievements is as close to agreement as we are likely to get.

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  33. RightNow (6,841 comments) says:

    Sure, you reject my comparisons and I’ll reject yours, and we can call it agreement :)

    Would you like to comment on the ferry workers striking every school holidays, the boilermakers union stopping construction on the BNZ building for a decade, tax theft by the national secretary of Unite union, bullying by union members at Ports of Auckland, lack of secrecy at union ballots so members are scared to vote according to their conscience… need me to dredge up any more? And that’s just NZ, we pale in comparison to overseas unions.

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  34. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    I’ve only been a member of voluntary associations and have never witnessed bullying by union members. Most union votes I have witnessed have been secret ballots.
    I don’t know if the Cooks and Stewards went out every school holidays, but they certainly earned a bad reputation. Likewise, I don’t recall the ins and outs of the boilermakers’ various disputes and am unfamiliar with the Matt McCarten case or the details of the POAL allegations. So I’m not really equipped to debate those things with you.

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  35. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    RightNow: Do you not remember Mike Conway thieving union fees from guess who? The bloody journalists, seems like karma in reverse. Then there was that fine upstanding man from the trades council, Thorn I think, a mate of Pat Kelly (father of Helen), he took the clothing union for megabucks.

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  36. gravedodger (1,528 comments) says:

    Watching the ludicrous idiotic inane and ott perambulations of the Fletcher led rebuild is not the slightest bit funny but would make for fertile ground for a McPhail and Gadsby type sitcom.

    In the middle of a long awaited (over three years now) restoration of our one and only home, lifting of floor coverings has caused a delay while additional engineering assessments are made.
    Swmbo has health issues that are exacerbated by even the slightest stress so it is very hard to be rational when told we will have a two week delay while the said brains are on a “F*cking training course”.

    Health and saftey my arse, it is all about arse covering for the stupid.

    If a Union sees a need for training their members, do it on the weekend and pay for it with the money confiscated of the members too stupid to sort their own sh*t out

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  37. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    The hysterical hatred of some rightwingers for the union movement is hilarious.

    None I have ever debated with are able to explain their antagonism.

    All you get is either sweeping generalisations or a convoluted yarn about how the next door neighbour’s third cousin four times removed once rang a union for help and they never called back.

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  38. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Fuck me, a mill towards Helen Keller’s salary and funding for Aussie union hacks to fly in and take Greenpeace westie Doris out on the piss in wellingtron.

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  39. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,568 comments) says:

    Milky has a short memory. He disputed that there was ANY bullying of port members and when presented with the facts he ignored them and said it was justified.

    Andronicus – Are you deliberately stupid? Plenty of people have given many coherent reasons for why they don’t like unions. I’ll give you mine. We had a union come into our place of work and sent us email upon email every day about how bad our employers were and the need for them to “represent us” for “only” a small fraction of our income per week. The union came into our workplace every week – demanding from our bosses that we had to put down tools and have a union meeting with them. This meant the public were unable to access our services (at this point I’d say we were getting 100 calls every 5 minutes from clients). The meetings were laced with heavy-handed selling for their membership services and they picked on those on our team that were not as educated as the rest of us.
    The emails escalated and we were promised the earth; free laptops from our employer, fee free banking, more holidays – all would be negotiated by the union for us as soon as a majority of us were members.

    We already had our pay rises and had perks. One perk kicked in automatically thanks to the contracts we’d signed – and the union emailed us all to tell us that this new perk was THEIR doing as the employer was scared that we’d all collectivise against him. When a few of us told the union that it was already written into our contracts – we had exposed them to be liars. The 4 union members in the workforce quit the union in disgust and the rest of us were educated in the blatant lies by one of NZ’s more powerful unions. Funnily enough, once we “collectively” told them to fuck off, they did.

    Unions are bloodsucking leeches. Your money gives their leadership a lifestyle beyond the reach of their members. Union delegates are at work but only do union work, therefore don’t pull their weight. Little wonder that the unions in NZ were all big supporters of now defunct communist regimes that were also led by bullies who exploited others for their own gain.
    Some of NZ’s darkest days are thanks to militant actions performed by our unions. No wonder that union membership is so low, nobody finds them relevant – and the only people who join are the low paid/low skilled workers who don’t understand what they are aiding and abetting.

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  40. big bruv (13,559 comments) says:

    Andronicus

    “The hysterical hatred of some rightwingers for the union movement is hilarious.

    None I have ever debated with are able to explain their antagonism.

    All you get is either sweeping generalisations or a convoluted yarn about how the next door neighbour’s third cousin four times removed once rang a union for help and they never called back.”

    What a stupid comment. Anybody who remembers the days of compulsory unionism will be able to inform you (I suspect you are another ill informed juvenile who has no idea what you are talking about) of the endless examples of bullying, open corruption, theft and strong arm tactics of the scum union movement.

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  41. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    Anyone who supports the vile union movement is either retarded or on the take . . . as most union execs are.

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