INDEPENDENT NEWS

From Rhetoric To Reality

Published: Mon 23 Aug 1999 12:33 AM
Things are not as bad as some make out says the New Zealand Employers’ Federation brochure “From Rhetoric to Reality. Facts show the Employment Contracts Act (ECA) has advantaged New Zealanders.”
Research shows that New Zealanders often think things are worse than they are. This perception, or “Clayton’s grief”, is the function of numerous negative stories run by people who want everyone to think everything is really bad.
But cheer up. Things are’nt so bad, despite what some politicians try to tell you. In fact most people are doing well and are pretty happy.
For example real incomes are UP. Between March 1992 and March 1999 average hourly earnings increased at a rate of 17.7%, while inflation has risen just 12%. More income means more security. Since the ECA real incomes have risen.
At the same time strikes are Down, despite some politicians saying that today’s workplaces are full of conflict and hatred. Research shows over 75 % of employees are satisfied or very satisfied with their employers.
Days lost due to strikes are negligible under the ECA especially when compared with Department of Statistics’ figures showing a drop from 330,923 person days of work lost in 1990 to 11,778 in 1998.
This is the lowest in 64 years.
This is good for families who, in the past, lost valuable income and savings through strikes. It’s good news too for employers in terms of guaranteed supply of product and services. It is obviously good for jobs.
Employment is UP. Between 1992-1999 we have seen an 18.9% increase in employment for men and women in all ethnic groups. New jobs mean new opportunities. Employment is a top priority for voters and for employers. The ECA helps employers create new jobs and research shows 80 percent of people are satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs.
And it isn’t the end of the world on the small business front either. Between 1994-1998 there has been a net 28.1% increase in the number of small businesses. This is an increase of 49,646 more businesses creating employment.
Contd..
Industry Training is Up. Contrary to what some say, there has been a massive increase in industry training since 1994. This 200% increase in industry training, supported by the ECA is the largest since records were kept. Rewards in the new economy mean Kiwis have to up skill and train. Employers are increasingly providing training as part of their core activities. From just 15,805 trainees in 1994, we now have 47,345 people in training this year. Employees and employers both benefit.
Since 1992, there have been over 250,000 new jobs created. Despite the Asian economic crisis, the recession, floods and droughts in New Zealand, new jobs are still being created. Over two thirds are full-time.
The ECA is an important part of the economic mix that is helping, and will continue to help New Zealand grow.
So things are not as bad as some would have us believe. Yes there will always be a few bad employers and some bad employees, whatever the law. But the reality is for the other 99%, things aren’t too bad at all – in fact they are quite good.
ENDS

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