President’s message – what a year!
As we near the end of 2015, it is worth taking a look back at some of our achievements this year.
As a union, we have grown by more than 3000 members this year. That means we are sitting at nearly 62,500 members across New Zealand – that’s 3000 more workers to add voice to our collective strength to influence employers and the government for the rights of public servants.
Some of membership growth comes from the merger with the Southern Local Government Officers Union. I want to again recognise the members, delegates, and staff at SLGOU who made the merger of our two unions a successful one.
In November we welcomed Glenn Barclay as our new national secretary. I am excited about the astute leadership he will bring to the PSA alongside Erin Polaczuk. You can get to know Glenn a little with his interview, and I know he’s looking forward to meeting and reconnecting with many of you next year as he gets to worksites around the country.
Our Worth 100% campaign for equal pay has gone from strength to strength, with hundreds of PSA members stepping up to be Equal Pay Advocates and promoting equal pay.
Our Child, Youth and Family social workers are taking a legal case for equal pay, and we have made claims in bargaining for South Island administrative and clerical district health board workers. We have a long way to go to reach equal pay, but together I am confident we can make it.
The overall working environment is still a difficult one, and we have been left with no choice but to take industrial action in several workplaces. At the time of writing, the Department of Conservation; Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; and our Auckland Allied, Scientific and Technical DHB members are all engaging in industrial action.
In spite of the inhospitable climate, our networks and Te Rūnanga continue to thrive. We have also worked alongside other unions to combat anti-worker legislation in Parliament. Thanks to PSA members who made written and oral submissions to MPs – your voices make a real difference.
Next year will be my last as PSA president, with a new president to be elected at our biennial congress. But there’s still much to be accomplished. I’m looking forward to 2016, where, with the help of all of us, the PSA will continue to make a positive difference in the lives of workers.
Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi.
With your basket and my basket the people will live.
Nga mihi nui kia koutou katoa