Local Focus - April

Welcome to Local Focus, a bi-monthly newsletter for PSA members working in local government.

Local Gov Web Pic 2016Local body elections - know your rights

We've produced guidance for PSA members working in local government to outline what you should and shouldn't do in the build up to the local body elections later this year.

This advice has also been sent to The Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) and Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) so your managers should be aware.

Remember: All New Zealanders have the democratic right to participate in local government elections. Working for a council doesn’t affect that right.

Regional delegates forums coming soon

All local government delegates are invited to attend your regional delegate forum, to develop connections with your fellow delegates in different Councils and CCOs. Sector Committee delegates will be there where possible to create processes for you to raise your issues to a sector leadership level.

Each meeting runs from 10am – 3pm and will include: regional reports, how our sector works, our strategic agenda to transform our workplaces, remuneration and our PSA-wide Stand Together campaign. Lunch will be provided.

Otago/Southland – 22 April, Dunedin
Central Districts – 2 May, Palmerston North
Waikato/BOP – 25 May, Rotorua
Greater Wellington – 31 May, Wellington
North of the South – 1 June, Nelson
Canterbury – 2 June, Christchurch
Auckland/Northland – 27 May, Auckland

To attend, please email john.shennan@psa.org.nz.

PSA Congress - get involved

Held every second year, Congress is the highest decision making body in the PSA. This year, Congress is being held on September 20-21 in Wellington.

With 7,450 PSA members working in local government, we are entitled to 15 representatives at Congress. We are now calling for expressions of interest from delegates to attend Congress , from which the Local Government Sector Committee will decide on the attendees.

If you would like to express your interest in attending, please contact john.shennan@psa.org.nz. PSA will arrange leave and cover costs for those successful.

Congress will debate policy proposals, debate key issues of importance and hear presentations from a range of speakers. Congress will also hear more about the PSA's Stand Together campaign, which will give direction to our work through the local body elections this year and next year's general election.

Workers memorial day

On Thursday 28 April, events across New Zealand will mark Workers Memorial Day, a day to remember all those killed on the job. This year, memorial events include collections for the Workers Memorial Fund which helps the families of those killed with their legal costs in seeking justice for their lost loved ones.

To find out about an event near you, visit the Workers Memorial Fund website.

Other news

In the UK, The Guardian newspaper has undertaken an investigation about outsourcing by councils, and found that more than one third of outsourced services are returned in-house.

Also in the UK, a new campaign, We Own It, is promoting the retention of public control over provision of services at a local and national level, and has research to back up the popularity of its position.

The PSA has also been vocal about the recent Better Local Services reforms announced by Minister Sam Lotu I'iga, with PSA's Glenn Barclay stating that "We want assurances that ratepayers will retain the right to decide how services are delivered in their communities,” and that "we want a guarantee that crucial services like utilities will remain in public ownership.”