PSA Congress coming soon

Every second year, more than 100 PSA delegates from across the country gather for our biennial Congress.

Delegates at the 2014 PSA Congress

Delegates at the 2014 PSA Congress

The highest decision making body in our union, Congress delegates elect our president, decide on major strategy and set the rules by which we all operate.

This year, Congress will be held on 20 and 21 September at Te Papa in Wellington. Four candidates have been nominated for the role of president: Andy Colwell (Auckland DHB), Benedict Ferguson (Auckland Council), Janet Quigley (Canterbury DHB) and Peter Robertshaw (Ministry of Justice).

You can find out more about each of them on this website, and we will have an in-depth interview with the successful candidate in the next issue of Working Life.

Congress will also be the launching pad for the next stage of our Stand Together campaign. The campaign will highlight the wonderful work our PSA members do in the build-up to the general election next year, as part of our plan to make sure the next government properly values quality public and community services, and the people who work hard to deliver them.

Attendees will attend two out of four workshops to hear from experts and discuss what the PSA should be doing about each of four topic areas: privatisation, equal pay, building Māori activism and mental health. The results of these workshops will help to inform our campaign for next year’s election, and our ongoing work in these areas.

Delegates at Congress will also discuss and vote on a number of rule changes. Under the PSA rules, proposals at Congress can be made by the executive board, a sector committee, Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, or one of our clusters or formal networks.

Amongst this year’s proposals is one to make our Deaf and Disabled Members Network our fifth formal network (alongside Women’s, Out@PSA, Youth and Pasefika).

This would give the network the right to participate at the next Congress in 2018, and give it a formal role in our union structure.
Another proposal, from the Youth Network, would create a specific youth role on each of our Sector Committees and the Executive Board to ensure the existence of a youth voice in PSA’s leadership structures.

Congress is also a time to socialise, and to build bonds of friendship across the various parts of our union. People working in local government in Northland will talk with public servants from Invercargill and home support workers in Wellington. Connected by our PSA membership and a shared desire to build better working lives for all, Congress is one place where the strength of our 62,000 members is keenly felt.

To keep up with Congress as it happens, keep an eye on our Facebook page for live reporting and photos. The December issue of Working Life will also have a full report from Congress.