We are a trade union that represents and supports more than 90,000 workers across central government, state-owned enterprises, local councils, health boards and community groups within Aotearoa New Zealand.
Our purpose is to influence the political, economic, industrial and social environments in the interests of our membership.
We are a powerful public voice and a key player in New Zealand politics, arguing for policies that improve public services and better working conditions that benefit all New Zealanders.
By joining the PSA, you're joining a community of more than 90,000 members who are contributing to bettering their own lives, the lives of their colleagues, and ultimately, all New Zealanders.
In this section:
- Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi
- Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina
- Our Structure
- Our Strategic Goals
- Our Values
Our full name is the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi, as chosen by Te Rūnanga in 2003.
Former Kaumātua Kiwhare Mihaka was the driving force behind choosing a Māori name for the PSA, describing pūkenga as “the key word, referring to the collective skills of all our people. Then we have Tikanga, the good and correct way of doing things. And finally, mahi, which, of course, means work. This captures the essence of the PSA – the concept of skilled people coming together to create good conditions and ways of working."
Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina represents and promotes the interests of our Māori members. It provides a network to ensure Māori have a voice within our union and in the workplace. All members who identify as Māori are part of Te Rūnanga o ngā Toa Āwhina.
We are committed to honouring te Tiriti o Waitangi across the public sector and inside the union, and our structures ensure a Māori perspective is heard in all levels of our organisation.
We are democratically run by our members.
Members elect union representatives (delegates) within their workplace. These representatives help us make decisions on things, such as how the union is run and what to focus on during negotiations with employers. Delegates in each of our five sectors elect Sector Committees to determine our mahi within their sector of work.
National Delegates’ Congress
Our highest decision-making body is our National Delegates’ Congress, which is held every two years. The Congress brings together representatives from all of our sectors and is our highest constitutional body, setting our overall direction.
Annual General Meetings (AGMs) provide constitutional oversight in between National Delegate Congresses, receiving reports from the Treasurer and Executive Board.
The Executive Board
The Executive Board is our policy-making body accountable to congress. It is responsible for overseeing our policy and making sure we spend our money wisely.
Members of the PSA each belong to one of our five sectors. These sectors, and their associated structures, are a key part of the way the PSA functions. Each one of these sectors has its own committee and is represented on the PSA Executive Board.
The sectors are:
Community Public Services | Rātonga Mahi ā Hāpori
Staff working for NGOs and for private companies delivering community-based services partially or fully
funded by national or local government.
DHB | Pōari Hauora ā Rohe
Staff working for district health boards and multi-DHB shared service bodies.
Local Government | Kāwanatanga-ā-Rohe
Staff working for councils and councilcontrolled organisations.
Public Service | Rātonga mahi ā te Kāwanatanga
Staff working for public service departments and the officers of parliament.
State Sector | Rāngai Tūmatanui
Staff working for crown research institutes, other crown entities, in the tertiary sector, state owned enterprises and some private companies formerly owned by the state.
Our current strategic goals set targets for what we want to have achieved by 2027—with more specific goals that look forward to 2024— and how we plan to achieve those goals.
Strong Public and Community Services | Ratonga Hapori Tūmatanui Kaha
Strong and sustained political and public support for public
and not-for-profit community services as the heart of creating a better Aotearoa.
A Strong, Modern and Influential Union | He kaha, he whaimana, he uniana mō te ao hurihuri
Strong and sustained political and employer support for worker voice and participation through unions at the national, industry and organisation level.
Transformed Work | Mana mahi
Work is transformed so it is valued, secure, and influenced by strong worker voice to create wellbeing for all workers.
Equity in the Workplace | Mana taurite i ngā wāhimahi
Workplaces are free from bias, discrimination and racism at the individual, organisational and system level.
Te Tiriti o Waitangi
Supporting these goals, and woven through them, is our commitment to advancing te Tiriti o Waitangi principles of partnership, protection and participation, as they relate to the working lives of our members.
Our values were adopted as policy by the PSA Executive Board on the 7 May 2018.
Solidarity | Kotahitanga
We champion members’ interests with a strong effective voice. We stand together, supporting and empowering members, individually and collectively.
Social justice | Pāpori Ture Tika
We take a stand for decent treatment and justice. We embrace diversity and challenge inequality.
Integrity and respect | Te Pono me te Whakaute
Our actions are characterised by professionalism, integrity and respect.
Solution focused | Otinga Arotahi
We are a progressive and constructive union, constantly seeking solutions that improve members’ working lives.
Democratic | Tā te Nuinga e Whakatau ai
We encourage participation from members. We aim to be transparent, accessible and inclusive in the way we work.
Collective bargaining is one of the important ways by which PSA members can improve their living standards and quality of working life. Bargaining creates a culture of partnership, and means the real value of pay is maintained.
In bargaining the PSA negotiates towards the following 4 goals:
1. Fair pay, democratic pay systems
- The real value of pay is maintained
- Low and unfair pay rates are targeted
- Pay scales are bargained and ratified by members, and included in their collective agreement
- Transparent salary progression replaces discretionary bonuses and ranges of rates
- Performance management is uncoupled from pay and linked to career development
- Pay and employment equity is actively promoted.
2. Improving the quality of working life
- Quality flexible working hours are in the collective agreement
- Support for training and career development
- Annual leave on top of the statutory minimum
- Practical support for workers moving into retirement or other life changes.
3. Strong workplace organisation
Strong delegate structures are at the heart of organised and democratic workplaces. The PSA negotiates for:
- Paid time for delegates to carry out their role
- Regular union meeting times
- Access to resources such as internal mail, notice boards, meeting space.
- Support for union recruitment.
4. Workplace partnership agreements
Workplace partnership agreements give union members a voice in decisions and contribute to improved productivity and service delivery. They demand a commitment from the union and management to:
- Hold regular and informative meetings for management and delegates
- Allow delegates time to discuss issues with members and receive feedback
- Provide join training for delegates and management
- Create a culture of partnership.
We are affiliated with a number of local and international unions and organisations that share our goals and values.
Affiliates in New Zealand
- New Zealand Council of Trade Unions – We are a committed affiliate of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (CTU), participating in CTU national and local forums and programmes, and being represented at CTU biennial conferences and at CTU representative structure conferences. Click here to open the NZCTU website in a new tab.
- IPANZ – We are a corporate member of IPANZ (the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand), a voluntary organisation committed to improving public policy and public sector administration and management. Click here to open the IPANZ website in a new tab.
- Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand – We are an associate member of Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand (previously AHPAF), a forum for representatives of allied health professional associations. Click here to open the AHANZ website in a new tab.
- Tax Justice Aotearoa New Zealand - We support Tax Justice Aotearoa NZ (TJANZ) in seeking a fairer society through tax reform. TJANZ represents the growing number of people who wish to see greater transparency, equality and fairness in national and global tax systems. Click here to open the TJANZ website in a new tab.
- Public Services International – We are a member of PSI, a global union federation made up of more than 600 public sector unions. We participate in PSI regional and sub-regional meetings and are particularly active in supporting the development of union organisation in Pacific nations. Click here to open the PSI Global website in a new tab.
- UNI Global Union – We became affiliated with UNI Global Union in 2006. UNI is a global federation representing unions in the mass media, entertainment and the arts. One of UNIs functions is sharing information between unions in the face of globalised media and broadcasting industries. Click here to open the UNI Global Union website in a new tab..