PSA for managers

In 2013, 9% of PSA members worked in management roles – that’s over 5000 people across our five sectors.

Peter RobertshawAt the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Corrections, managers have their own separate collective agreements; in some other workplaces they are covered by the same agreement as everyone else; and others still are on individual agreements.

Working Life spoke to Peter Robertshaw, a line manager at the Ministry of Justice and the PSA vice-president, about his experiences as a manager and a delegate.

Peter says each of his roles provide skills and experience he can take into the other. As a delegate, “you get a much broader appreciation of how business works and the relationships you need to build, and that helps when you go back to your workplace because you can use that networking experience you’ve had through the PSA.”

Being a manager also gives Peter a unique insight into “the Ministry line”, as “you know where the Ministry is coming from but you also can see how the PSA can work with that.”

Any risk of a conflict is comfortably managed, says Peter, as at the end of the day you’re employed to carry out your role, even if you don’t always agree with it. But even here, the roles can be complementary, because “in the delegate side of things there are extraordinary opportunities to meet with senior management … by being in a position to challenge you can mitigate some of it.”
Peter advocates for more managers to not just become PSA members, but to get active in our union:

“The more you can be involved [as a manager] in how things are developed, that puts you in good stead for your personal progress, but also in helping to decide how things will be for the wider PSA membership.”