Ports mediation a last-ditch bid
Fri, 13 Apr 2012 3:02p.m.
Ports of Auckland and the Maritime Union have agreed to bring in the Employment Relations Authority after eight months of industrial action.
The parties have undertaken a last-ditch attempt at mediation to work through the port's offer of a collective agreement to the union workforce, which it had previously attempted to replace with external contractors.
The sides will now make an application to the Employment Relations Authority's facilitation process, as agreed in the Employment Court two weeks ago.
"Both the port company and the union wanted to try mediation one more time," says MUNZ president says Garry Parsloe.
"The mediation failed and now we are off to facilitation - it will give us some direction.
"You don't get told what to do in mediation."
Port management said in a statement they are hopeful facilitation will assist by providing the parties with clear recommendations made by a neutral but experienced third party.
MUNZ on Thursday rejected what it called a "cut and paste" collective agreement offer from the port after the first day of mediation between the two parties. The offer included a 10 per cent pay rise, with full-time employees having 160 hours of guaranteed work in a four week cycle, while further performance bonuses of up to 10 per cent are included in the package.
The shift roster would also take into account staff preferences, with preferred shifts and days off being distributed fairly and reasonably.
Mr Parsloe dismissed it saying "it just looks like a cut and paste of rhetoric from December - there is nothing fresh at all."
The dispute, which started in September, has caused rolling strikes and lock-outs resulting in the loss of contracts with shipping line Maersk and dairy exporter Fonterra for the port.
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24/04/2012 8:58:20 a.m.
The Christchurch Press, Saturday, 14/4/2012 , page C3,has an excellent article that would probably be of benefit to everyone involved in the P. of A. dispute. It describes errors made by virtually everyone involved in the dispute. It is positive in that it identifies faults and offers solutions. It uses everyday situations to illustrate faults being discussed. I can even see myself there. A summary of some faults described is rephrased and listed below,"1. Sunk cost illusion:- Refusing to walk out of a lost cause.2. In group bias :- My group is superior to yours.3. Attribution error :- Our failures are due to circumstances while your's are due to your mistakes.4. Affirming the consequence:- I am unhappy and have insufficient money. More money will make me happy.5. Anchoring heuristic:- I am working shifts. I am unhappy. This is because I am working shifts. ( also item 7).6. Charisma effect :- I have been told that I am overworked and underpaid. It does not matter that I was happy. It must be correct.7. Curing symptoms :- I am unhappy at work. Giving me more money and less work will make me happy" Obviously it is not possible to describe the entire subject in 7 lines. This is just to introduce you to something that would be of tremendous value in negotiating. The article spells out clearly many points that have been made by various comentators over the last few months.
14/04/2012 9:00:47 a.m.
The Maritime union doing exactly as I predicted couple of weeks back - not negotiating in good faith. Working towards redundancies for its members.They know the extent of what the ports is doing - either they negotiate something with more flexibility or the Port contracts it out. Thats the bottom line and still the union ignores this while disrupting the port and costing the port, Auckland ratepayers, business that use the port, and anyone who buys stuff thats been through a port - ie everyone in NZ money.The strike vs lockout days illustrate the union has been more unreasonable than the port management. If the union considers strikes okay, then that in itself makes lockouts okay.I would like to see businesses that lock out employees to have to pay workers, but the flip side of that is with the give would have to be take, and the take would be that when there is a strike the cost of the strike would be passed onto those striking, ie they would have to pay for the temporary staff to replace their striking. If strikes cost the strikers to cover the replacement labour then they would be less inclined to strike and more inclined to negotiate. If a lockout cost businesses having to pay workers locked out they would be less inclined to lockout and to negotiate.It would pretty much stop the strike/lockouts, but then unions wouldn't support it as they strike much more than businesses lockout. Eg ports of auckland and Martime union the ratio is about 15:1.
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