Tuesday, July 20, 2010

RSE, some truths

Okay, like my usual butt in without invitation approach to life, I thought it should be clarified that the criticism of the RSE scheme by T Meaole, JOhn Ryan and co on Samoa Observer. is well-founded but a bit like being gifted a cassette tape for your birthday in 2010. It's mafu old news.
The issues they raised about the poorly informed 20 Tongans in one room was from the days of Noah and the blame is not just on the employer but rather the  NZLDOL and the agent in Tonga that idioitically misled the workers.
Don't be dishearted, much has changed for the better in Samoa.(true story!)
In Samoa (aue) we don't have independent agents as such - who gain financially from facilitating the scheme, recruiting etc. This is a good thing, because the agents are the au se'i faga in this debacle.
For the Samoan scheme alone, the NZ employers have a preference for groups rather than individuals. This means that the pre-departure  preparations are done a bit better than in the other kickstate states.
This also means, the group are in a (usually) village setting, who are well informed thru the makai involvement and the employer generally goes to the village to consult, recruit etc.
At no point does the worker gets misled into thinking that this is a holiday to the land of milk and honey.
Rather, they get told of the conditions, airfare costs, accomm, the weather conditions and freezing cold etc.

Even better, now there is a pilot programme where financial workshps are offered to the larger companies employees, to help RSEr about their money, saving, remitting etc.

There's room for imporvement, thats for sure:
-I agree with John Ryan and TMeaole about the need for contracts - but that exists at the moment, workers have to sign before hopping on PolyPu(:
-The pre departure training should be made compulsory for ALL workers, not just forward thinking villages. At the moment, indivs still slip thru and become disillusioned and some overstay, but only a VERY small insignificant percentage.
-Pre departure training should follow the Phillipine schemes - all transparent....and it should be funded by the Samoan Government, NZ DOL and employers.
- Union people shouldn't discredit the scheme for its failings but investigate all its truths because the fact is, RSE works for many- its aimed at rural Samoa where jobs are limited, and the temporary removal of the labour force does NOT have a huge impact due to short term contras.  It is a win win! And for the broken record, I am not advocating for the scheme, just laying out my humble and uninvited views.

If the Union representatives are ready to shred this scheme to pieces, cough up an alternative. Mate.  

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