President's message - Let's do this together!

Over the summer I was able to spend much-needed time with my wife and kiddies, whānau and friends – and I loved every minute of it.

Mike Tana, PSA presidentWhen I came back to work I made the same commitment to myself and my partner that I do every year – try to keep a healthy balance between work, family, friends and the other things that create a full life. Sound familiar?

That’s made me think about the PSA’s vision – for a better working life. When our work environment is healthy, fair, and supportive not only are we more productive, but we’re also much more likely to get the balance right and make our whole life enjoyable. That’s why addressing issues like equal pay, bullying and building diversity in our workplaces is so crucial.

I’m proud that our members are involved on a range of issues, having a positive impact on the sectors they work in – whether that’s delegates who are the first point of contact within their organisation, or health workers standing up for fair pay, or members serving as equal pay advocates. A huge thank you to all of you who volunteer your time to make a difference in your workplace or within the union.

It is also important that we support our union colleagues who are being forced to fight for their working lives. Currently our Allied, Public Health and Technical members at the 3 Auckland DHBs are in a dispute with their employers that has lasted 9 months. They are having to take significant industrial action in order to retain their current conditions of work which will put a strain on them financially.

As union members, you are part of a much bigger movement. I want to acknowledge our friends in the Meat Workers Union at AFFCO Talley’s Wairoa plant who were without work for five months in their quest to bargain for a fair deal. They have faced incredible hardships to do what is right.

If you’re a PSA member who is not yet volunteering your time, or if you want to support those members who need it, I encourage you to get involved in an issue you feel strongly about this year. Have a chat with your delegate or organiser about your passions and ways you can help bring about change within your organisation. Being an active part of a movement bringing about positive social change is an incredibly inspiring thing.

In a similar vein, one of the things I’ve really enjoyed about being the PSA president is that it’s given me the opportunity to meet and interact with people from across the country. People who share a common purpose. I’m still amazed at the power of bringing people together, whether for a hui, a demonstration march – or even a simple cup of tea. Every member is valuable and has influence, both as an individual and as part of a collective voice.

As union members, we need to tap into that power this year, because there’s too much at stake for us to settle for the status quo. When issues like climate change, equal pay, paid parental leave or the TPPA are at stake, we need to make sure that our voices as union members are heard loud and clear, together as one!

Kia kaha
Ngā mihi nui kia koutou katoa

Mike Tana