Unions want exemptions from higher retirement age

Unions aren’t enthusiastic about Labour’s plans to increase the age of eligibility for superannuation to 67 and want exemptions for manual workers.

. . . Maritime Union president Garry Parsloe said provisions would be needed exempting those in physically demanding jobs, who would struggle to keep working past 65. . .

People in physically demanding jobs are often stronger, fitter and healthier than those in sedentary ones.

Two of our staff are in their 80s.

One of those spends most of his time dagging sheep, something many people far younger would struggle to do.

He does take Wednesday afternoons off to play bridge though providing a great role model for physical and mental fitness.

19 Responses to Unions want exemptions from higher retirement age

  1. Andrei says:

    Two of our staff are in their 80s.

    One of those spends most of his time dagging sheep, something many people far younger would struggle to do.

    Anecdotal – your two staff members have been lucky in the lottery of life.

    Most people start their physical decline in their fifties – years of heavy work take their toll.

    My father was worn out in his fifties, he was able to continue working until just before his fifty ninth birthday,

    I myself was involved in a major industrial accident in my twenties which required a new start and a new direction, which was easy at that time for someone in their twenties but would be impossible today for someone in their forties.

    Raising the retirement age is not the answer to this problem which is going to get worse and worse as the average age of the population increases.

    This is a demographic crisis, in part engendered by the State taking over what was once the responsibility of the family ie the children of the old looked after their parents and one thing this lead to was the desire for people to raise big families – they were investments in superannuation (much more than that of course but that too was a consideration)

    When the Government usurps that duty the impetus to raise children declines, families decline and become fragmented and the down ward spiral begins.

    You do remember out bet about the introduction of “voluntary” euthanasia before the general election following this years one Ele?

    Putting the elderly down is one solution and though “voluntary” euthanasia will initially have little impact on the super crisis, redefinition of voluntary and a loosing of the initial restrictions that must be met before euthanasia will be signed off will follow as sure as the sun rises in the East

  2. homepaddock says:

    Yes it’s an anecdote. My point was age isn’t necessarily an indicator of fitness for work. Your father’s story supports that, some people have difficulty working before retirement age.

    I’d forgotten the bet but now you’ve reminded me am still confident I’ll win.

  3. Mr E says:

    I am concerned at how many daggy sheep you must have.
    Heard of drench? lol.

  4. homepaddock says:

    Mr E 🙂

    Meat Works require clean bums and even drenched sheep aren’t always clean enough.

  5. Mr E says:

    Indeed – I often forget which Ludemann you are. I guess scale is the key in factor in this case 🙂

  6. Dave Kennedy says:

    Ele, I have mixed feelings on the raising the retirement age, but I am troubled by your continuing use of the word unions in a way that isn’t appropriate. If one union expresses a point of view you often assume all unions do (I have no idea if there is consensus on this myself). You also make the assumption that unions represent one group of society (and not a nice one from your many descriptions in the past). Are you actually referring to blue collar unions or perhaps professional unions? It is obviously not business or employer unions 😉

    I don’t think the Greens have policy on a retirement age yet (I think it is currently the status quo) but superannuation is one of the fastest growing areas of Govt expenditure. http://nzier.org.nz/publications/superannuation-dilemma

  7. JC says:

    “You also make the assumption that unions represent one group of society (and not a nice one from your many descriptions in the past). ”

    You know perfectly well that in the English speaking world the word “unions” has a precise meaning and is only applied to labour unions. Even more specifically the content of a writer’s comments also identifies precisely the type of union(s).

    A further example of these specifics is relevant at the moment.. under no circumstances could the “Taxpayers Union” be considered a union in the common parlance. It might use a legal vehicle to describe itself as a union but it is hardly a union of the Labour sort.

    A further defining feature of “unions” comes from today’s tweets..

    The media report no change in unemployment at 6% but a record labour force participation rate.. thats hugely significant and a great result but Helen Kelly lies blatantly in saying the unemployment rate is 7.5%. Gareth Hughes joins in berating National for just holding the 6% unemployment level.

    That reminds me of Opposition leader Robert Muldoon in 1975.. he was beating the unions around the ears and his interviewer pointed out that Labour stoppages were at new lows.. Muldoon agreed saying “the unions have been very good”, and then he delivered a critique against the unions that so resonated with the public National was in power nearly 9 years.

    Muldoon was gracious in agreeing the unions had a good strike record under Kirks Govt but Helen Kelly and Hughes were graceless in ignoring a very significant improvement in the employment stakes across nearly every indicator.

    Its that lack of grace that will beat the Left this year or at least destroy some sort of cobbled together alliance that might govern for some months before it falls apart from its own contradictions. As key said today, Russel should get off that high horse that pulled up lame before the Dotcom mansion”. No grace and no class.


  8. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, I am a member of an Education Union made up largely of professional people and the EPMU (the largest private sector union) represents engineers and many in the aviation industry http://www.epmu.org.nz
    The PSA is the union for civil servants. All are affiliated to the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (of which Helen Kelly is president). So when you talk about unions you are seriously only referring to those who provide physical Labour? All the derogatory statements about unions only refers to a small few?

    You didn’t listen to what Helen Kelly actually said. While unemployment may be down, so are the number of secure jobs that require high skills. New jobs are largely low skilled ones with little job security. Many skilled jobs on offer in the Christchurch rebuild are going to imported workers because apprenticeships have been allowed to drop over many years (before the earthquake the construction industry had lost about 30% of its workforce).

    We also have around 12% of workers who are underemployed as and when combined with the unemployed we have around 20% of workers looking for more work. http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/5408-new-zealand-december-quarter-2013-employment-estimates-201402040105

    The median wage has gone up by $1 over the past four years for Maori and Pasifika workers and is now at $!8.82 for Maori and $18 for Pasifika workers. The living wage has currently been estimated at $18.80 for a 40 hour week http://www.livingwagenz.org.nz/ and that means around half of Maori/Pasifika earn less than a living wage. !4% of Maori are unemployed and 15% of Pasifika people. Around 20% of both are working part time. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/employment_and_unemployment/introducing-new-measures-underemployment.aspx we actually have one of the highest underemployment rates in the OECD.

    When you add all this up around 75% of Maori and Pasifika people are existing on annual incomes well beneath a living wage. so when we talk about 5% unemployment it doesn’t really mean that 95% of people are fully employed and earning a good income.

    As for Russel meeting with Dotcom, what a beat up, Key is the only leader who has had to apologise to him, the Greens are accepting no donations from him and the current polls for a Green Labour Government are looking alright. I guess the future is dependent on no more conflict of interest stories 😉

  9. Paranormal says:

    You are still full of BS DK.

    The “living wage” is pure sophistry. Your supposed links between the living wage and Pacifica/Maori also show your ongoing abuse of statistics. It must have been the Greens/left/marxists Mark Twain was talking about with his famous line on statistics. Your supposed ‘living wage’ is for married couples with children and yet you demand it for all, even single employees. And we all know the higher proportion of youth in the Maori Pacifica population. When will you understand that one size fits all does not work and is not appropriate?

    If you want higher wages then what employees need is higher value to warrant higher pay. To start with they need better educational outcomes. Something you and your UNION are actively opposing.

    And as for Red Russel visiting Dotcom – with your alleged high moral standards, how can you condone such an antidemocratic action as Russel’s visit to cut a deal?

  10. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, people should be paid for the work they do and the value of the work. If they are seventeen years old and are supervising others, they should be paid for their responsibility and not on the youth rate. If they are a highly skilled teacher aid working with a volatile autistic child they shouldn’t be paid the minimum wage. One size doesn’t fit all, but it should be based on the work not the age, sex or ethnicity of the worker.

    When we talk about value for remuneration we should be looking at many of our directors and CEOs (value added by Don Elder?)

    Our union opposes academic gains? What total nonsense. The priority groups are Maori and Pasifika and the programmes that have proved the most effective to raise achievement for these students have been wiped by this government. Socio-economic background has a greater influence than teaching on education outcomes (which has even been shown by National Standards results).

    Don’t believe spin, there never was a deal, or even an attempt to make a deal with Dotcom.

  11. Mr E says:

    “people should be paid for the work they do and the value of the work.”

    Dave suggests the abolition of the minimum wage, or that is how it sounds to me. Dave- that’s bad.

  12. Paranormal says:

    DK yet again your arguments don’t stack up, particularly with your unions position. Why do unions push for more pay for longer tenure and then you want pay for the responsibility of the role regardless of tenure (your 17 yo example)?

    Interesting that in one thread you argue against yourself. So now you have it that the living wage is pure sophistry and people should be paid for the work they do and the value of that work. The living wage is the opposite of that.

    Which leads nicely onto your continued envy attack on CEO’s. I’m guessing you’re not a shareholder in any of the companies you rant against so why is it any of your business (apart from wanting to tell everyone else how to live their lives). You’re estimation of the value or otherwise that a CEO provides is totally irrelevant.

    As for education. Just look at your union opposing their members employers attempts to put right the poor outcomes in our education system. i’d also suggest you are again copping out when you say its socio-economic reasons that we have such poor outcomes. It’s not just from schools in poor areas that we have poor outcomes. If you’re looking for the problem and the solution, once you’ve recognised the problem, take a look in the mirror.

    As for Big Red – are you suggesting we shouldn’t believe anything Red Russel or the Greens say? http://yournz.org/2014/02/12/russel-norman-transcript-with-duncan-garner/ Surprisingly that is something we can agree on. In that transcript Reds Russel says he tried to persuade DotCom not to start the internet party. Your spin is busted.

  13. TraceyS says:

    “Well, I didn’t try to stop him…”

    “…so I tried to talk him out of it…”

    Beginning and ending sentences of the same breath!

  14. Dave Kennedy says:

    Ah, Mr E, the real argument is probably who decides and how we establish the value of work. Some employers believe if someone does a full day’s work then they should be paid at least a minimum wage while others will say that if someone wants a job then they should be happy to accept what they pay. How does Ryman Health care determine the value of the work of those employed in their rest home? Should a business employee a worker when they actually can’t afford to pay a reasonable wage? WFF is essentially a wage subsidy.

    Most SMEs actually pay good wages the real concern I have is with large corporations who undervalue their workforce to boost profits and because they are such large employers, this is tolerated. My daughter worked for the Warehouse for a while as a 17 year old got paid a good waged based on the work she did while Pak’n’Save immediately introduced the youth rate despite being able to afford a higher rate and the work performed was the same as older workers:


    Paranormal, If you are going to argue education with me you need to provide specifics. We were a high performing education system, ranked 4th in the world (and had been so for around 40 years), after 5 years under this Government we are now ranked 23rd. The teachers hadn’t change during this time, but the Government and system has.

  15. Mr E says:

    Lets say you lift the salary of supermarket workers, what do you think would happen?
    Would consumers pay more?
    Would suppliers get paid less?

    Suppliers use factory workers, and would also be required to lift their wages. So they have to pay more for labour and likely get paid less for their product (such is the power of supermarkets).

    What is the end result? You increase the rate of unemployment, and you decrease the income of primary producers.

    Less growth in the primary sector means less jobs in rural towns like yours.

    When primary producers are put under stress they also look for higher returning systems. Of recent times this has been dairy conversions for some.

    Radical changes to the minimum wage as you promote result in the following:
    Increase unemployment
    Decrease the returns to primary produces
    Reduce the growth of rural towns
    Increase the rate of conversion to Dairy.

    It is ok to empathise with those that get paid the least, but you should be thinking holistically. If you don’t, I suspect you will always be part of a minority party. Pandering to the needs of a few whilst punishing the needs of the many.

  16. Paranormal says:

    DK – World rankings don’t count for much when 20 -25% of school leavers were illiterate – after 10 years of school. I believe it was the OECD also found that when we had the ranking you talk about that 40% of school leavers did not have sufficient literacy and numeracy skills to function in a modern society. And you think that was world class?

    If the changes brought in to fix the lack of numeracy and literacy have affected our rankings than that can only be a good thing. What you’ve clearly failed to consider is the rankings may now accurately reflect what has been happening in our schools for a long time. For the rankings to have changed so dramatically, so quickly, it is clear that changes brought about by your Liarbour pals during their stint on the treasury benches are now coming to fruition. You talk about evidence based blah blah blah, but where was the evidence when Liarbour brought in NCEA amongst others?

    As I’ve said before you and your fellow NZEI connivers are clearly a big part of the problem.

    I notice you’ve not commented on your ‘spin’ when you’ve been called on it.

  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, again you’re just repeating nonsense spin. 25% of school leavers are not illiterate. The Government keeps talking about passing Level 2 qualifications, do you even know what skills are needed to get literacy passes at Level 2? Most countries dream about getting even a fraction of their students to this level. Also all our special needs kids with intellectual disabilities and autism, dyslexia etc are also part of the statistics, we don’t exclude them like other countries do. Back up you figures with evidence, they are meaningless. Here’s a link to what kids are expected to do at Level 2 English, how would you stack up? http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum/Learning-areas/English/Achievement-objectives

  18. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, because we are a low wage, low productivity economy, few of our workers have much money to spend in our domestic economy, lifting wages will actually boost SMEs and give things a kick start, it has happened before: http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/lessons-in-history.html

  19. Paranormal says:

    DK you don’t have to go far for evidence:

    As shown above your spin is wasted here.

    And shame on you trying to blame our under performing tail on the disabled. Next you’ll trot out the inequality / socio economic divide excuse. And that’s all it is. Have a read of this:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10616734 It’s a shame Graham is no longer with us, he was a saint. He was also proof positive that your one size fits all education system fails. In two weeks he was able to teach the ‘worst’ boys from the poorest neighbourhoods how to read. He exposed the lie that is the world class education system you and your NZEI coconspirators push.

    As one example look at the damage forcing all children just down the word guessing – oops sorry I mean whole word recognition, pathway has caused. Children no longer have the skills to deal with the unexpected.

    So you and your pigeon holing NZEI coven can be part of the solution, but you need to recognise you are part of the problem to start with.

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