Some of the most important influences in union leader Erin Polaczuk’s life are indelibly etched on her mind and body.
A generational change occurred in New Zealand politics in October when Jacinda Ardern was sworn in as Prime Minister. With less fanfare, one of her contemporaries, also from Auckland, is bringing about generational change in the union movement. In 2014, 38-year-old Erin Polaczuk became national secretary of the Public Service Association, which represents 65,000 public servants.
In her previous role as deputy head of the secondary teachers’ union, the Post Primary Teachers’ Association, Polaczuk was widely respected. An education sector leader describes her as “refreshingly straightforward, highly intelligent and more pragmatic than some of her predecessors. She made genuine gains for her membership by putting their case eloquently and persuasively in negotiations.”
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