19th April 2017
Grey Power has applauded the Government’s announcement of a $2 billion package to address the pay inequity in the predominantly female aged care sector.
Grey Power Federation national president Tom O’Connor said the package would address a long standing of underpayment for people who work in the aged care sector.
“This is demanding and difficult work usually and traditionally, but not exclusively, undertaken by women. There was never any justification for people in this essential role to be so poorly paid.”
The package will see more than 55,000 workers receive a minimum pay rise of $4 and hour going up as much as $7 an hour in some cases.
The pay increase will cost the Government more than $2b over the next four years. For the workers, it won’t be backdated but will take immediate effect on June 1.
O’Connor said the new pay rates were still not overly generous given the work these people had to do every day but it was a significant and very welcome improvement.
“We have been supporting the aged care sector works for about eight years in the quest for better incomes and we are delighted for them and the elderly people they look after,” he said.
For further information call
Tom O’Connor on (03) 6126755.
9th March 2017
Clash probably unavoidable
The chances of avoiding a head on clash between Grey Power and the Government over raising the age of national superannuation are fading as the organisation’s 65000 members prepare for political war.
National president Tom O’Connor said he had planned to debate the Government’s announced intention, to raise the age of entitlement to 67, at their AGM in May but the response from across the nation had been swift and very angry.
“It’s like someone has kicked a beehive and I wouldn’t to be around when the lid comes off.”
O’Connor said not all Grey Power members were old enough to draw national superannuation yet but they were determined to protect the scheme from political interference.”
I don’t think they have been this angry since an attempt to impose a surtax on superannuation 30 years ago gave rise to Grey Power,” he said.
O’Connor said lifting the age of entitlement because national superannuation had become unaffordable had become an ill-founded mantra of the far right but there was no sound evidence to support it.
“National superannuation amounts to less than 4% of GDP. Even if the amount currently paid doubles over the next twenty years GDP will probably increase by a similar amount or more.” He said.
O’Connor said the generation now in their retirement years had built the industrial infrastructure which underpinned todays thriving economy. “Certainly we earned good wages but we worked hard and also paid massive taxes and a portion of those taxes was set aside, by agreement with Government and matched with a Government contribution, to fund national superannuation. It would be unconscionable to renege on that deal now.”
The Government suspended payments into the scheme in 2008 and still gave the pension to immigrants after only ten years residency in New Zealand and O’Connor said it was “a bit rich” to now suggest the scheme was unaffordable.
He said national superannuation was not a benefit or a charity but a pension scheme paid for and owned by all taxpayers.
“We inherited that scheme from the generation before us and we intend to ensure it is still there for those who follow us into retirement. This battle will not be for us but for those who have yet to retire.” he said.
“To even suggest that those people in physically demanding occupations should carry on working until 67 is simply unacceptable in a country as wealthy as New Zealand, “he said.
“There are more people affected by this decision than the 65,000 to 70,000 members of Grey Power and they probably won’t spend a lot of time marching in the streets, waving flags and throwing things. Their voting choice in the general election later this year has become a little easier to make and they are already on the campaign trail to convince others ,” he said.
For further information call
Tom O’Connor on (03) 6126755.
Press Statement- 13th July
A petition to legalise the medical use of marijuana by a Grey Power association does not have the support of the Grey Power Federation.
National president Tom O’Connor said there was a growing trend for activists and single issue groups to attempt to use the Grey Power brand to promote their causes.
“We get all sorts of weird and wonderful ideas popping up from time to time but we are very careful about who and what we support nationally.”
O’Connor said he was aware of the growing campaign to legalise marijuana for medical purposes but the issue was well outside the knowledge of federation members.
“We don’t have a formal policy on the legalisation of marijuana and we are probably unlikely to anytime soon. The reality is that we don’t know enough about the substance.”
O’Connor said formal policy for the Grey Power Federation was set at the annual general meeting by remits from member associations.
“Most of our member association delegates have a very good idea of what actually comprises the real business of Grey Power and any remit to change the marijuana laws would have little chance of being accepted.”
The decision to legalise the medical use of marijuana was a matter for the medical profession and government and it was not presently a matter of any importance to the Grey Power Federation, he said.
“Our member associations have a high degree of autonomy and they can get involved in almost anything they like but matters of national policy are carefully considered and debated at length before decisions are made,” he said.
For further information call
Grey Power Federation (03) 6126755
PRESS RELEASE – 30th June 2016
SuperGold card free public transport
National Grey Power Federation president Tom O’Connor said it was disappointing that Auckland Transport had gone ahead and undermined the Government’s promise to SuperGold card holders of free public transport in off peak times anywhere in New Zealand.
Following the recent review of the scheme the Government capped the cost for the next five years and bulk funded regional councils which manage it.
“We were given a very clear promise by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that SuperGold cardholders would continue to access the scheme as they could prior to the recent review of the scheme. Recent developments with Auckland Transport where the new scheme is being rolled out first, have seriously undermined that undertaking with the introduction of a charge to SuperGold card holders for an electronic ticket and the requirement to pre loading of these with $5, a total outlay per person of $15. In other words, SuperGold card holders will have to pay Auckland Transport to get a free Government funded ride on their buses,” he said.
O’Connor said he was in talks with Simon Bridges and Senior Citizens Minister Hon Maggie Barry over the issue and wanted a solution before the scheme was rolled out in other centres across the country.
“The Auckland Transport action could set a precedent for other places although Dunedin was supplying electronic tickets at no cost to SuperGold card holders. If they can, anyone can. We don’t want to buy a fight with Government over this but we will if we have to. There are a number of options to solve the problem and the bottom line is that there should be no cost to SuperGold card holders to access free, Government funded, public transport nation-wide. That is Government policy,” he said.
O’Connor said some of his 70,000 members were very angry that they had been ignored and were going to have their free transport taken away by a bus company which was being paid to provide it.
For further information call;
(03) 612 6755
At the 2016 Grey Power New Zealand Federation Inc Annual General Meeting National President Terry King did not stand for re election.
The new National President elected was:
42 Bluecliff Road
Phone: 03 612 6755
Grey Power Federation is concerned at the prospect of a number of Police stations in the Auckland area being closed.
Chairman of the federation’s law and order advisory committee, and former police sergeant, Graeme Faulkner said the proposed closures in Auckland suggests that there would be similar closures throughout the country to follow.
“With the closure this year of a number of stations already there appears to be a move to centralise all Police activities out of central stations,” he said.
Mr Faulkner said, while there may have some financial benefit it does nothing for the feeling of safety and security of the public, older people in particular. “The fact that there is a local Police Station staffed by local Police gives that feeling of something physical that gives that well need feeling of safety and security.”
The odd visit by a patrol vehicle in an area accompanied by the odd foot patrol does nothing for our members and we strongly urge that these stations remain open. Numerous buildings undergo major work but they are usually able to remain open whilst this s one,
“We fully support the Police in the need to make these stations safer for staff but there will always be risk. That is the nature of Policing.”
PO Box 2721719, Papakura 2244, Unit 5/205 Great South Road, Papakura.
Phone: 09 299 2113 Fax: 09 299 2118 Email: email@example.com
Grey Power National Internet Site: www.greypower.co.nz