Stand Up for Library Workers

In May 2019 the PSA notified the six large urban councils that we believe library assistants working in local government suffer from illegal gender-based pay discrimination, and that they have an arguable equal pay claim under the Equal Pay Act 1972

Library assistants logo webWe have asked these six councils (Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin) to set up a joint working group to resolve our claim using the 2017 Reconvened Joint Working Group Principles of Pay Equity.

While this process only pertains to people doing the job of library assistants, the PSA believes that all local government workers who are working in female dominated occupations are likely to suffer from gender-based pay discrimination. This includes other library workers and administration and clerical workers. Our aim is to use equal pay settlements achieved in one occupation, or in another sector, to achieve equal pay across our membership. 



PSA Purple Hastings Library

Hastings Library

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Kawerau Library

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Rangiora Library

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Point Chevalier Library


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Invercargill Library

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CCDHB showing their support for the Library Worker

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Sticky Notes

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We want to educate the public about the different tasks, roles, and responsibilities that are part of a library assistants work. Have a look at some of the work of our library assistants across the country  from running book clubs, holiday programmes, and after school care programmes to chess clubs, craft sessions, assisting members of the public with IT issues, and so much more.

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Hutt Library: Library assistants help run a Digital Wellbeing Course

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Hutt Library: Prepping book club reading lists

Orewa Library: Library assistant Veronica Storey

Orewa Library: Library assistant Veronica Storey

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Orewa Library: Library assistants Sandra Sinclair and Veronica Storey

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Celebrating the Auckland Heritage Festival at Orewa Library

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Afterschool fun at Tokoroa Library

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Activities at Tokoroa Library

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Reading time at Tokoroa Library

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After school programme at Shirley Library


After school programme at Shirley Library

After school programme

After school programme at Shirley Library

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Onehunga Library: UpSkills @ Evolution

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Onehunga Library: UpSkills @ Evolution

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The campaign officially launched in the week beginning 18th November.

A bargaining committee has been established with representatives from the nominated councils. This group has met briefly with council representatives and is focused on developing a timeline and agreeing a Terms of Reference. At the culmination of this process our aim is that we have an agreed equal pay rate for library assistants that we will be able to take to each individual council and bargain for its implementation at that council.

Parallel to this work, a campaign will be run to engage library assistants across all councils to gain widespread and public support for our case. 

We are asking library assistants across New Zealand, Aotearoa, to support this campaign. One thing that you can do right now is to help us educate the public about all the different tasks, roles and responsibilities that are part of a library assistants work. You can do this by taking a photo of yourself or a work colleague carrying out one of the many jobs of a library assistant i.e. running book clubs, assisting members of the public with IT issues, holiday programmes, afterschool care programmes, book Clubs; chess Clubs; knitting clubs; and craft sessions.

These photos will be used on posters and our webpage to raise awareness around our claim. Please send any photos to our comms team at with the subject line Libraries campaign.

See the Meet the Library Assistants tab to see what Library Assistants in your area are getting up to.


Download the Stand Up for Library Workers poster here:

Library Assistants poster