PSA News February 2018

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Welcome to PSA news for 2018! We’re shaking off the sand and returning to business as usual, but it’s shaping up to be an exciting year for unions and the public service in general.

In this issue:

The first 100 days

This month marks the first 100 days of the new coalition Government. There’s a lot of changes ahead for all of us, especially because the areas we work in will all be directly affected by decisions this Government is making. We are keeping informed about what all the changes will mean for you and your sectors, and will keep you up to date as we learn more.

The 26 for Babies campaign finally achieved success, with parental leave being extended to 22 Weeks from 1 July 2018 and 26 weeks from 1 July 2020. The PSA has been a strong supporter of this campaign.

We are glad the flawed equal pay Bill designed by National has been scrapped, and we look forward to the reformation of the Joint Working Group, of which we are a member. We were supportive of the original recommendations of the JWG and we’re heartened at the new government’s commitment to ending the gender pay gap once and for all..

We will continue to push for changes that benefit working people in New Zealand throughout their working lives.

What we’ve said to the Incoming Ministers

We have published all our current Briefings to the Incoming Ministers (BIMs) on the PSA’s website. See where we stand on equal pay, health, housing, children’s welfare, state services, local government and more. Read them all here:

Mental health inquiry

As PSA members, you campaigned on it - and last month, the government delivered. Aotearoa will get its independent inquiry into the mental health system. For too long, Kiwis have struggled to access the help they need, when they need it. We’re thrilled that nothing will be off the table – and that there’ll be a particular focus on access to services, especially for Maori and other groups with poor outcomes.

You can read more about the inquiry here , and we’ll keep you informed about how you can get involved. It’s crucial the inquiry hears as many voices from as many different perspectives as possible. In the meantime, the PSA will continue to work with community groups to build a platform for lasting change.

Employment law changes

The Labour-led government’s made good on its promise to shake up employment law in its first 100 days. The Employment Relations Amendment Bill will strengthen collective bargaining and sees the return of rest and meal breaks. It has passed its first reading and been referred to the Education and Workforce Select Committee. We’re glad the government recognises how unions are crucial to getting better conditions for all people working in New Zealand. The PSA will be submitting on the proposed bill – take a look here.

Inquiry into children in state care

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into abuse of children in state care is long overdue and the PSA has welcomed it. We hope the inquiry will help survivors and workers to tell their stories and begin to heal.

The PSA wants all voices to be heard as part of the process. Social workers past and present need to be treated with dignity and respect, and they have a right to privacy and natural justice. Social work practice has come a long way, and there will be more to learn from this inquiry. We’ll consult with our members at every stage and will support those who want to take part.

Ōtaki summer camp

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Ōtaki Summer Camp is for young people who care about political issues and ideas. It is a chance to hear and discuss interesting ideas, meet and get to know others who care, and explore local mountains, forests and rivers with experienced guides. PSA Youth member Jess Mio attended the three day camp and shared this wonderful story about her experience.

“I’d pinned my hopes on the camp as a great opportunity to figure out My One Thing – and it did help me clarify my thoughts and intentions, just not as I’d expected.

Camp for me was three intense days of talks on vital subjects; discovering the delights of tramping upstream in a river for hours on end; hilarious comedy; the most powerful poetry; discussion with my activist peers; singing, dancing and laughing together; grieving together; finding hope and determination together.”

Read Jess’s full article on the PSA website.

What you can do

Out@PSA events in Auckland and Wellington

out at PSA logo webShow your pride this year with events happening in Auckland and Wellington. If you want to join the Out@PSA network, you can do so on the website via MyPSA or by calling the organising centre on 0508 367 772.

Ending HIV - Big Gay Out 2018 Sunday 11 February Coyle Park Pt Chevalier Auckland Noon to 7pm Out@PSA will be at stall #99.

If you are attending the event, please stop by and pick up a T-Shirt with the new Out@PSA logo.

Auckland Pride Parade 2018 (Rainbow Warriors: Pride and Peace)
Saturday 17 February
Ponsonby Road
Starts at 7.30pm
Please join us marching in the parade.
If you plan to march with us please RSVP to

Out in the Park
Saturday 24 February
Waitangi Park
11am – 4pm.
If you are attending the event, please stop by and pick up a T-Shirt with the new Out@PSA logo.

Wellington Pride Parade
Saturday 10 March
Cambridge Tce/Courtenay Place/Taranaki Street towards waterfront
Starts at 7pm
Participation has not been confirmed. If we participate it will likely be as part of a group of rainbow unionists from various unions.

An Excerpt from Working Life
Doing This: an interview with the Prime Minister

Prime Minister scene 2Who is the new PM? Working Life visited the ninth floor of the Beehive to meet Jacinda Ardern, the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand and youngest ever leader of the Labour Party, who has formed a Government with New Zealand First and the Green Party. Read the full article online.

PSA office posters

postersTime for a refresh of your office space? Pick a new poster from our PSA office poster range. Available to download from our website.

Need support?

We're here for you if you need support with a workplace issue. You can call our organising centre between 8:30am - 5:00pm on 0508 367 772 or email