Since the Key Government came to power some 1500 jobs have gone in the state sector and a further 500 jobs will go this year.

Then on TV3's The Nation last week, the Minister of Health Tony Ryall upped the stakes again, by indicating that there will be still further job losses

Said Ryall: 'I think we'll see several hundred more over that 500, that’s a reflection of the fact that individual government departments are looking at how best they can organise themselves with no funding increases,'

The response of the PSA was less than impressive.

Brenda Pilott, the National Secretary of the PSA, cut a pathetic figure on the television six o'clock new bulletins.

Once again she raised her 'concerns' about how further jobs cuts would impact on workloads and the delivery of services but, as far as Pilott was concerned, Ryall's announcement of more job loses was a fait accompli. Pilott again raised the white flag of surrender as she has done ever since the Government began its austerity drive.

It must be of some not inconsiderable satisfaction to John Key and co that it has been able to take the axe to the state sector without facing any resistance from the PSA whose brief is supposedly to defend the interests of its members.

I say 'supposedly' because it hasn't raised a finger to resist the Government's austerity measures.

There is a something rotten at the heart of the union movement and that 'something' is a cabal of well-heeled union bureaucrats who don't actually believe in the basic tenets of trade unionism.

For them, unions are not about protecting jobs and fighting for better wages and working conditions

For far too long the union bureaucracy has embraced the misguided idea of a 'partnership ' with government in an attempt to 'influence policy'.

It has delivered nothing but economic hardship for workers, for the jobless and the poor.

This is what has been delivered by the 'modern unionism' of CTU president Helen Kelly. It's a 'modern unionism' where the idea of 'class struggle' is regarded as 'irrelevant' and 'old fashioned'.

Its now all about 'advising' government, preparing 'reports', holding 'talks' and blah blah blah.

It has been disastrous policy that has left workers to be preyed on by the government and its business allies.

Unlike the PSA and CTU fat cats, the capitalist class does know it is engaged in a class struggle and it knows who its enemy is.

It is ruthlessly implementing its agenda and the bitter pill we are expected to swallow is the sight of a union bureaucracy actually giving the bosses a helping hand. Both the CTU and the PSA bureaucracies are sleeping with the enemy.

Such is the bankruptcy of the union fat cats is that have actively cooperated with the Key Government to implement its asuterity measures. It began with the so-called 'Jobs Summit' and it has been all downhill from there.

Instead of fighting for jobs, union officials have simply pointed workers in the direction of the nearest branch of Work and Income.

Last year, when a major Christchurch employer Lane Walker Rudkin announced massive job cuts all the Services Union was capable of doing was to hold a couple of cake stalls to raise a 'fighting fund' for workers.

Lane Walker Rudkin is no more and over a thousand jobs have vanished.

But, of course. no Services Union bureaucrats have lost their jobs.

Do the PSA and the CTU, as they are presently organised, have anything to offer workers if they will not only not fight the Government's austerity measures but have been actively making life easier for John Key and his business allies?


  1. Good post.

    In 2008 (I think) Helen Kelly attacked the young doctors and their union leadership for going out on strike and described the union as being out of touch with modern union practices!


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