October's PSAY Pānui!

Welcome new PSAY team members, Convenor By-elections, PSAY at Congress and much more!

Welcome to October's PSAY Pānui!

In this issue:

Welcome x4 (yes, 4) to the PSAY team!

Portrait of Debbie PaperaYour PSAY network organising team has a new member, DEBS PAPERA. Debs is stepping into the role after we said goodbye to the superstar Vicki Taylor as the PSA Youth Organising Administrator (OA). You’ll still see Vicki around – she’s working with the PSA’s new Growth team as well as the Dunedin office.

The OA books travel, meeting rooms and resources for events including Youth Leadership Training and PSAY Hui, they co-ordinate emails, answer membership questions and generally hold the whole team together.

PSA Youth poached Debs from supporting Public Service Sector of the PSA and also supports organisers in the Wellington office, so some of you will already know her work. For those who don’t – Debs is a singer and guitarist, mum of one, a staunch advocate for youth, fairness and tikanga, and a great friend, so we’re lucky to have her on the team! Kia ora and Haere mai, Debs!

Convenor by-elections

Voting has now closed for the new Auckland, Wellington, and North Island Regional convenors.

Thanks to all those who had their say, and thank you so much to all the members who put themselves forward for this exciting mahi! We look forward to your continued involvement in PSA Youth.

Congratulations to our three new convenors!

Your new convenors are:PSAY new regional convenors

Auckland: Tatiana Daniels

"I’m standing up to become a PSAY convenor because I think it is a good opportunity to advocate and empower youth working in the public service sector. I would like to be part of the conversation on how we move forward and improve the experiences of young people in public service. In my workplace we have high turnover of younger staff and I’d like to be a part of moving toward a change."

Wellington: Sophia Grey

"I'm really passionate about the working life of our demographic in the public sector and I always try to advocate for our rights amongst my colleagues in and between sectors. I think it would be an exciting position of responsibility where I could help elicit real change; I have ideas and I want to see them through. I also like being able to meet and hear from different people from varying walks of life!"

North Island Provincial: Malavai P-Misikei

"I wish to stand for the North Island Provincial because I have had great support from the PSA, but I believe there is so much more that we can do for our members. There is a need for our young people to develop as leaders of tomorrow. I really would like to see and provide an opportunity for the voices of our young Pasefika members. I have a BA Majoring in Political Science."

Congrats team!

We’re looking forward to planning what happens next for the PSA Youth network with you 

PSA Congress – We did it!

PSAY members who attended Congress 2018

All PSAY’s Congress motions passed! We’re full members of every level of our union’s democratic structures now, right up to and including the Executive Board 

The moment after Jacqueline read out her notice of motion, as a part of the changes to include PSAY representation on committees and the executive boardWe also supported Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Awhina’s motion for rangatahi representation within Te Rūnanga’s structure. We are happy to amplify the voices of rangatahi Māori in governance of our union. Congratulations to Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Awhina, and we look forward to working with the elected rangatahi, who will also all be PSA Youth members!

These achievements represent years of work by current and previous PSA Youth members and leadership teams. PSA Executive Board member and Vice President Benedict Ferguson was a part of the founding PSA Youth committee ten years ago, and spoke with pride in support of these notices of motion.

These great opportunities have been created by PSA Youth members in order to provide more pathways for young members shape our union, bring their experiences and views to leadership roles and develop skills while representing the voices of our network. 

We have a few words on Congress from some PSAY attendees:

PSAY Member Dani Liddell said …

It’s hard to explain how it felt to be in a room of union delegates when the ground-breaking Oranga Tamariki pay equity settlement was announced, when we had youth representation elected to the executive board, how it felt when Te Rūnanga announced the push for historical redress for mana wāhine. Jan Logie’s korero about domestic and sexual violence  was the first time I’ve seen somebody acknowledge that not every woman in Aotearoa won the right to vote at the same time, and the first time I’ve seen any Pākehā stop to acknowledge the mana whenua of the rohe they stood on. I saw a woman stand and insist that we remember the fight for equity for admin staff, and an inspiringly passionate woman stand and demand to know where the union support was for the Pasefika network. 

What I saw, over and over again, was a group of empowered people who aren’t afraid to stand and to speak their truth. Congress was always described to me as a very serious kind of event, where there are motions and debates and workshops, and there are definitely all of those things, but it’s also a celebration. The kind of celebration where your chest gets tight and you remember what it’s like to be in a 67,000 strong group of people who share some of your core values; I laughed, I danced, and I learned. What made the biggest impression on me though, are the number of people who would stop me and anybody else in a youth shirt and tell us that we give them hope for the future and for our union.

PSAY Convenor Megan Barry said …

Wow, what a great experience. This was my second congress to attend however my first congress with my Convener hat on.  I felt so privileged to be at congress representing the not only the DHB Sector as a youth rep but also the PSAY as your national co-convenor.

The theme of congress, The Future of Work, was a great way to highlight the importance of young people in work. I especially loved hearing from Guest speaker Andrew Pakes and how he said “the baby boomers need to get out of the way and let the young people come through, as without the young people developing there will be no union in 10 years.”  A real take home was that in the union we need to get better at ‘just listening’.

I must say though the biggest highlight for me was hearing all the amazing PSAY members standing up and speaking passionately about the notices of motion. The feedback from my DHB table was that the youth have done the PSA proud and they loved hearing the notice of motion told through stories rather than arguments as they have been in the past. I must say that all the PSAY members present at congress should be proud of what we achieved, and all the hard work done over the years was well worth it at the moment that the final notice of motion passed.  I must say when Lauren left the room with tears in her eyes it made me well up and remember all the hard work that the staff at the PSA put into the network to make these opportunities happen for us.

PSI Pacific Island Training – by Lauren Hourigan

Lauren Hourigan and PSI Pacific Island sister union members in Sydney

In September I co-facilitated training for Pacific Island trade unionists in Sydney through Public Services International.

The training was really eye opening and a privilege to be part of. The content was theory based so participants could customise it to suit our Pacific Island sister unions. It was great to learn more about each other’s challenges and opportunities, and to share knowledge in both directions. The issue basis of the training was climate change; we established a lot of common ground in the causes, impacts and solutions and it was evident how much nations and organisations need to work together to address it. I left feeling heartened and energised about our movement and the opportunities to make change in the single biggest risk to our future.

Mental Health Awareness week (and photo competition!)

PSAY LogoThe Mental Health Foundation of NZ is running a photo challenge for Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) this week. "Let Nature In" is this year’s MHAW theme and the photo competition is themed around the phases of the moon (maramataka) and the five ways of wellbeing.

Check out the PSAY community’s photographs through the five ways of wellbeing, or learn more about the Mental Health Foundation and the Mental Health Awareness Week!

Member Q&A with Harpreet Kaur

Harpreet KaurWhat were your initial thoughts on signing up to do this Q&A?

To explore my thoughts and to initiate my new interest of writing a blog, doing Q&A is a small and meaningful step for my future blogs.

What is your job and what do you do on an average day at work?

I am a Rehabilitation Coach working with traumatic brain injury clients. I take care of their community outings, work over their rehab goals, their exercise plans, and help them with financial issues and so many other daily needs.

What would you say is the hardest thing about your job?

Having patience, repeating the same thing every 5 mins & still smiling.

What do you enjoy about being a part of PSA and PSA Youth, and what brought you to join?

It’s a place where we meet different people from different paths of life, different perspectives, different cultures but yet one motive to bring good to the community, to be a leader and help others. It’s a platform to learn, to grow with others.

What is your vision for young members of the PSA?

Reach to each & every individual at every place, even the uncovered areas and help others so that nobody feels any exploitation at their work places. PSA needs to touch more on immigrant’s problems so that more youth can join them. We can’t deny the fact that immigrants form a major part of New Zealand youth population, so in order to make them the part of PSA, there should be some support from the beginning for immigrants. Therefore, our youth members will be from every part of the world.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?

Gym- exercise is my passion. I love kick boxing, it takes all my stress away & makes me strong mentally & enhances my level of patience every day.

What cause would get you out on the streets protesting and why?

I never been on streets protesting, but I always take stand at workplace for my colleagues. I get a feeling of responsibility when they share their problems & concerns with me. Taking their problems up to management & to make sure they come out with a solution is always a priority. I think that’s what we consider one of the traits for being a good leader. I always wanted to be a leader, to be responsible, to be someone who takes stand for others, a role model & a follower at a same time.

Which figures from past or present would you invite to your place for dinner, and why?

My biology school teacher for making my foundation & my dad for whatever the person I am today.

What are your three pet peeves?

Unhygienic, lies and negative vibes.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

Listen to your parents they seriously know more than we can imagine.