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Key defends law changes against union backlash

Key defends law changes against union backlash
Wellington, July 19 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key is defending the Government's employment law changes against a union backlash, saying other countries have probation periods for new workers that are much longer than 90 days.

Minister says sick leave change not major

Minister says sick leave change not major
By Maggie Tait of NZPA Wellington, July 19 NZPA - Employees should not be worried about getting a medical certificate if they are genuinely unwell, Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson says. "It shouldn't worry any employee who is not trying to pull a sickie," she told NZPA.

Union fury over employment law changes

Union fury over employment law changes
NZPA political reporters Wellington, July 19 NZPA - The Government's employment law changes have provoked furious criticism from unions and the Labour Party.

Labour and Greens say lack of interest in health job worrying

Labour and Greens say lack of interest in health job worrying
Wellington, July 18 NZPA - A lack of interest in the Health Ministry's top job shows concerns about the Government's direction for the sector, Labour and the Greens say. However the Government says it is just a matter of getting the right person for the job.

Polarised views on labour law changes

Polarised views on labour law changes
Wellington, July 18 NZPA - The Government is attacking Kiwi workers' conditions and wages, unions and the Labour Party say after Prime Minister John Key announced extensive labour law changes.

Unions question survey basis for 90-day changes

Unions question survey basis for 90-day changes
Wellington, July 17 NZPA - Unions upset at moves they see as rolling back workers' rights say research by the Labour Department could have been designed to support Government plans to extend the 90 day employment trial period to all businesses.

Protests tomorrow over "anti-worker" legislation

Protests tomorrow over "anti-worker" legislation
Wellington, July 17 NZPA - Workers angered by moves they see as rolling back their rights intend to protest outside the National Party conference in Auckland tomorrow (Sunday).

Work place access restrictions a broken promise - Goff

Work place access restrictions a broken promise - Goff
Wellington, July 16 NZPA - National will break a pre-election promise if it goes ahead with plans to restrict union access to workplaces, Labour leader Phil Goff says.

90-day hiring law tipped for expansion

90-day hiring law tipped for expansion
Wellington, July 16 NZPA - The Labour Party says it will repeal any moves by the Government to widen the 90-day trial scheme under which workers can be fired without comeback and to reduce union access to workplaces.

Govt removing workplace safety measures - Labour

Govt removing workplace safety measures  - Labour
Wellington, July 16 NZPA - The Government yesterday launched a forum made up of business leaders and the heads of the Department of Labour and ACC aimed at making work places safer but Labour says the Government is responsible for measures that will do just the opposite.

Government to extend 90-day dismissal law

Government to extend 90-day dismissal law
Wellington, July 15 NZPA - The Government is looking to extend the 90-day trial period scheme to all employers regardless of size, Prime Minister John Key says.

Linking funding could be counter-productive - Labour

Linking funding could be counter-productive - Labour
Wellington, July 15 NZPA - The Government's plan to link tertiary education funding to students getting jobs could be counter-productive, the Labour Party says.

Unions worried about new ACC levy discount scheme

Unions worried about new ACC levy discount scheme
Wellington, July 15 NZPA - Rewarding businesses with good safety records by giving them ACC levy discounts could lead to some of them covering up workplace accidents, unions and the Labour Party say.

Unemployment figures show a worrying trend, Labour says

Unemployment figures show a worrying trend, Labour says
Wellington, July 15 NZPA - The latest unemployment benefit figures are a worrying sign that New Zealand is falling further behind Australia, the Labour Party says.

Energy sector emissions decreased last year

Energy sector emissions decreased last year
Wellington, July 14 NZPA - Greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector decreased 7 percent last year, the Ministry of Economic Development reported today.

Educators could "game the system" if funds linked to jobs

Educators could "game the system" if funds linked to jobs
By Matthew Backhouse of NZPA Wellington, July 14 NZPA - Tertiary educators could try to "game the system" if their funding was linked to students getting jobs, Labour says.

Employers, unions back Labour MP's bill

Employers, unions back Labour MP's bill
Wellington, July 14 NZPA - Employers and unions are backing a Labour MP's bill that would give local businesses an edge when they tender for big government projects.

Labour Party bill on tendering

Labour Party bill on tendering
Wellington, July 14 NZPA - Labour has drafted a bill to give local businesses an edge when tendering for large government projects. Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran drafted a member's bill, the Kiwi Jobs Bill.

Food and Grocery Council takes on obesity activists

Food and Grocery Council takes on obesity activists
Wellington, July 13 NZPA - Accusations that the Government is doing hardly anything to fight obesity have been rejected by the Food and Grocery Council which says the claims are "inflammatory nonsense".

Govt confirms forestry scheme to get the chop

Govt confirms forestry scheme to get the chop
By Maggie Tait of NZPA Wellington, July 13 NZPA - The Government has confirmed it is axing a scheme to get more people to plant more trees, saying it is not needed now there is an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Forestry scheme to get the chop - Labour

Forestry scheme to get the chop - Labour
Wellington, July 13 NZPA - Documents show the Government plans to axe a scheme to encourage people to plant new forests, a move Labour says is foolish.

Election date should be fixed, committee told

Election date should be fixed, committee told
Wellington, July 12 NZPA - Electoral law experts have told a parliamentary committee there should be a set date for elections, rather than the government in power deciding when they are held.

Budget health funding a 'farce'

Budget health funding a 'farce'
Wellington, July 12 NZPA - The Government's Budget day announcement of $50 million extra for elective surgery was a farce as much of the money was needed for patients previously treated by ACC, Labour claims.

School funding change criticised

School funding change criticised
Wellington, July 11 NZPA - Labour says changes to education funding will punish schools with high drop out rates, especially those in poorer areas.

Papers show Govt knew impact of ECE cuts, Labour says

Papers show Govt knew impact of ECE cuts, Labour says
Wellington, July 10 NZPA - Treasury papers prove the Government knew before the budget that cuts to early childhood education funding would mean increased charges for parents, the Labour Party says.

Nats increase lead over Labour in latest poll

Nats increase lead over Labour in latest poll
Wellington, July 9 NZPA - National has increased its lead over Labour in the latest Roy Morgan Research poll. The survey released tonight shows National on 53 percent support, up 2.5 points, and Labour down four points to 29 percent.

"Party Central" venue war of words goes on and on

"Party Central" venue war of words goes on and on
Wellington, July 8 NZPA - The venue for next year's World Cup "Party Central" is likely to be changed after Auckland Regional Council's about-face on plans for Auckland's Queen's Wharf, Prime Minister John Key says.

Don't risk lives over whaling, urges PM

Don't risk lives over whaling, urges PM
Wellington, July 8 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key has called for "cool heads" in the wake of anti-whaling activist Peter Bethune's suspended prison sentence, saying continued southern ocean skirmishes could lead to a fatality.

Govt should stay away from boat people talks - Goff

Govt should stay away from boat people talks - Goff
Wellington, July 7 NZPA - The Government should steer clear of discussions with Australia about a centre for asylum seekers, Labour leader Phil Goff said today.

TVNZ jobs shake-up criticised

TVNZ jobs shake-up criticised
Wellington, July 6 NZPA - A staff shake-up at TVNZ will put more focus on editing and packaging at the expense of the analysis and journalistic groundwork that should be expected from a state-owned broadcaster, says Labour's broadcasting spokesman Brendon Burns.

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