Proud to be out, proud to be union.
Work makes up a large part of our lives. It’s well documented that the more of yourself you can bring to work, the better you feel. We should be free to express our sexuality and gender in a way that is true for us. Knowing you work somewhere that will be accepting, supportive and encouraging can go a long way to improving your overall quality of life.
While in New Zealand it’s illegal to discriminate against someone because of their gender or sexual orientation, it does still happen. You could face difficulties like struggling to be promoted, targeted for harassment or bullying, or forced to operate in an environment that is unpleasant or hostile to you because of who you are.
This is why we have the Out@PSA network. We advocate for inclusion and celebration of our diverse workforce here in New Zealand. We also advocate for public services that meet all of our needs, which are as diverse as we are.
In the last year the Out@PSA network has doubled in number. Almost 400 members have joined since January 2017. Now over 800 members are a part of the network, and it’s still growing. We are so excited to have so many more people standing with us, being proud to be out in their workplaces and with their union.
Feburary is always a busy time for the network, with Pride events happening around the country.
The Auckland Pride Parade drew massive crowds as usual, and we got to show off our new network t shirts. The Big Gay Out was unfortunately rained out, and we really missed spending that time with our Auckland community. We were happy to be a part of the friendly atmosphere at the Wellington Out in the Park event, which is entering its 32nd year.
It’s back to work now. Armed with a new committee and a new logo, we’re excited to be growing the network and increasing our activity, with the full support of the PSA behind us. We’ll continue to push for change both in our workplaces and in the services we provide to people living in New Zealand.
We’re excited for the CTU’s Out@Work biennial conference, which is the main conference for Out@Work members. This year it will be held in Auckland at the Vaughn Park Conference Centre on 30 November and 1 December.
Supporting and advocating for change is something unions do best, and while it still sometimes takes bravery to be out, we’re proud to be making it easier.
To join Out@PSA, visit psa.org.nz/out, or call us on 0508 367 772.