President's message - Our Working Lives

Over the course of my three and a half years as your president, I’ve been lucky to grow a better understanding and appreciation of the wide range of jobs that our amazing members have.

Mike TanaFrom physiotherapists in Kaitaia to DOC rangers in Bluff, PSA members are contributing to a better New Zealand in so many ways.

We can be proud of our efforts, but we also know that things can improve. Our new campaign, Stand Together, will be helping to promote the wonderful work that PSA members do, and to highlight the importance of quality public and community services.

On pages 8 – 11, you can read about our search for local heroes. The PSA is overflowing with people doing vital work to create a better new Zealand, and we think it’s well past time we show our pride in our fellow union members. On page 27, you can read more about another element of Stand Together – our plans for this year’s local body and district health board elections.

Not every PSA member has the exact same experience of their work. Our Māori members, through Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, are working on Ngā Kaupapa, a plan which seeks to address the particular issues for Māori in the workplace and in the PSA (pages 12 – 13).

For our women members, their daily life is hugely impacted by being paid less than men for work of equal value. Equal pay, one of our 4 strategic goals, is being progressed in a number of ways, including negotiations with the Government, public campaigning alongside other unions and community groups, and of course in collective bargaining. You can find out more about our current activity on pages 14 – 15.

It’s important that we recognise the different needs each of us have from our workplace and continue to support each other in our drive for fair pay and conditions in our respective worksites – that’s one of the reasons we have PSA networks, to allow us all to connect with our fellow unionists across the country. That’s also why one of the 5 core strands of our Transforming Our Workplaces agenda is to create personalised workplaces.

Each of our workplaces is at a different stage in the journey towards where we’d like it to go, and each of us is at a different stage in our working lives. In this issue of Working Life, we’re lucky to be able to read a conversation between two PSA members at opposite ends of their working life (page 30), and there’s a lot we all can learn by listening to each other.

This is the second to last president’s column that I will have the privilege to write to you all, with a new president to be elected in September at our biennial congress. We’ve got four great candidates, all of whom I’m confident would do an excellent job, and I look forward to seeing who will be chosen by our delegates to carry the mana of our union as our leader and represent our members across our five sectors. In the meantime, you can meet them and get to know each of them a little bit better on the next page.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue of Working Life, and see a little of yourself reflected in its pages – our union is made up of the combined strength of more than 62,000 people, and each and every one of us has an important role to play.

Kia kaha
Ngā mihi nui kia koutou katoa
Mike Tana