Constructing Workplace Democracy: Women’s Voice in New Zealand Public Services


Last year the PSA, in partnership with the Industrial Relations Centre at Victoria University, surveyed our women members.

We canvassed five main areas:

  •  Women PSA members -  profiled the PSA women who participated in this research, the work that they do and the family, caring and community responsibilities that make up their lives.
  • The average salary was $43,185 per annum before tax; 68% of respondents earned less than $60,000 gross per year.
  • Flexibility at work -  explored how much flexibility PSA women have in their jobs and how much they can shape and influence the organisation of their daily work.
  • Influence at work -  looked at the nature and organisation of work of PSA women and also considered their experiences of bullying and discrimination in the workplace.
  • Constructing careers -  provided an analysis of how PSA women are planning their careers and what managerial and organisational supports they have for career development.
  • Influencing unions -  considered the attitudes of PSA women to their union, and asked whether they see it as innovative and encouraging of member participation.

There was a high response rate (7,300 respondents), making this the largest dataset of New Zealand workers.

The findings will inform the PSA’s strategic planning, bargaining strategies and policy development.  They have been shared with stakeholders including the Ministers of Labour, State Services and Women’s Affairs, as well as with our members, other unions and other organisations.