Farrar apologises for getting his sums wrong

As mentioned in an earlier post, David Farrar called out Deborah Powell for coining $927,000 a year from the NZ Resident Doctors’ Association.

David now finds he has the numbers wrong by a factor of around 67%. Quote.

[…] I assumed a job which pays $927,000 a year would be a full-time job. But it isn?t. The enterprising Ms Powell is also the National Secretary of the Apex Union. And they also pay the company 99.9% owned by Powell $608,000 for contract negotiation services.

So that?s a combined $1,535,000 for contract negotiation services. Now we don?t know if that is 100% salary for Powell, but even if you have a couple of staff to assist you, you?d be doing better than any other person in the public health system. […] End of quote.

He has been doing a little digging and found that people were questioning this 18 years ago. Quote.

So to be, well, um, direct, the Weekend Herald would like to talk to her about ?the impression that you and [husband and business partner] Terry have done extremely well financially out of your relationship with the medical unions?.[…] End of quote.

Then David found an interesting tit-bit about the Powell’s involvement in a union vote-rigging scandal. Quote.

Come the 1991 Employment Contracts Act, the entrepreneurial Powells saw the opportunity to sell their employment contract negotiation skills beyond the young doctors.

Among those they added to their stable was the Sales Representatives Guild. But that led to considerable trouble when, in 1993, they were both convicted of fraud for rigging the guild?s ballot in favour of compulsory membership.

Pair stood to gain $92,000 if compulsory unionism was carried and another $2500 for every 50 members beyond 1000. It would also be paid an annual $80,000 base payment.

The Powells continue to deny their guilt. Anecdotally there are doctors who remain unhappy about the Powells and refuse to join the RDA because of their presence. End of quote.

David continues: Quote.

Yes and quite a few of those doctors have been e-mailing me. They have this old fashioned belief that a conviction for fraud for vote rigging in a union makes you a bad choice to run a union.

But anyway let?s not begrudge someone bringing capitalism to a union and making great money out of it. I?d say NBR should look at having a union category for their next NBR richlist! End of quote.

Certainly nice work if you can get it!