PSA News - July 2016


Here's the latest monthly round-up from the PSA.

Equal pay - sign the petition, send a postcard

Equal Pay - Everyone WinsIt's time to let the prime minster and cabinet know how important equal pay is to you.

Last month the joint working group of unions, employers and government officials released their recommendations to the Government on achieving equal pay for female-dominated occupations. The Government are considering their response, so we need to let them know how we feel.

Click to sign our equal pay petition
Join thousands of New Zealanders standing up for equal pay.

You can also send a postcard to John Key, telling him directly what you think. Fill out this online form and we'll send a postcard on your behalf.

Want know more about equal pay? Check out whatisequalpay.nz for all the facts.

Working Life - June 2016Read about our local heroes in the June issue of Working Life

The latest issue of our magazine is out now, and you can grab a screen-friendly pdf to read on your phone, tablet or computer via our website.

This issue is themed around our local heroes and the varied and valuable work that PSA members around the country do.

Check it out now!

Stop the clock on back pay lossStop the clock on back pay loss: sign the petition today

Many workplaces are having problems accurately paying people during leave.

The law currently says people can only claim back six years worth of missed pay - we're calling on the Government to change this so people don't miss out.

Sign the petition to add your voice!

Stand TogetherStand Together roadshow - hearing from the frontline

As part of our campaign Stand Together - Ka tū tahi tātou, our national secretaries have been traveling around the country and meeting PSA members to hear stories from the frontline.

Check out photos and read some of the stories on the Stand Together Facebook page today.

Across the PSA

In the State Sector, we had a day of mediated negotiations for Public Trust last week, which saw a proposed settlement emerge. Membership meetings to vote on the offer will take place over July.

In Aviation Security, members rejected an offer, and voted for industrial action. See our media release on the PSA website.

If you are flying in July, please print this A4 sheet and put it in your tray as you put your bag through the x-ray machine, to show you support your fellow union members.

Nearly all Crown Research Institute agreements are up for renegotiation this year. Landcare Research are now voting on a proposed agreement.

Bargaining begins for IAG members this week.

The Community Public Services sector saw industrial action planned and then cancelled at Community Living in the Waikato, as the employer came back to the table with an improved offer.

The next stage of the In-Between Travel Settlement is underway, with negotiations between unions, providers and the Ministry of Health to implement the plan to "regularise" the workforce, meaning guaranteed hours and training, a mixed caseload for each worker, and wages based on training levels.

Our largest sector, the Public Service sector, is busy with negotiations underway or starting soon in a number of large enterprises, including the Ministry of Social Development Service Delivery (where PSA members rejected an offer from the employer), Community Probation Services, the Ministry for Primary Industries, NZ Defence Force, Parliamentary Service and others.

In the District Health Board sector, our South Island admin/clerical MECA is still in bargaining, while our Midlands clerical MECA is about to start.

Our Local Government sector is also in bargaining at a number of enterprises, including Christchurch City Council, our second largest local government site.

Other local government sites in bargaining include Invercargill City Council, Waitaki District Council, Tauranga City Council and Ashburton and Hurunui District Councils.

New rules for those working with children

In 2014, the Vulnerable Children Act was passed by Parliament. It introduced new requirements for screening and vetting of people working with children under the age of 18.

On 1 July, a new part of this law came into effect, prohibiting people with one or more of a list of serious convictions from working unless they have a Core Worker Exemption. Details on how to apply for an exemption, or to appeal a rejected application, can be found online, and affected people must apply for the exemption themselves.

This currently affects people working in state sector agencies and for those contracting to state sector agencies. The Government is moving to extend this to those working for local authorities from September of this year.

If you have any questions, please call the PSA Organising Centre on 0508 367 772.

Brexit: What does it mean for the British civil service?

In the wake of the Brexit vote, unions across the UK are gearing up to ensure that people's rights in their workplaces are not weakened.

While newspapers report the UK looking overseas to hire more international negotiators to bargain their exit from the EU and the creation of new trade agreements, people working in other parts of the public service are concerned about the future.

A spokesperson for the Public and Commercial Services Union told the Guardian that public servants "are working under huge pressure because of years of Tory cuts and a demoralising, divisive and counterproductive performance management system. The fallout from this vote will inevitably add to this pressure as civil servants work to continue providing public services at a time of political turmoil.”

Thinking of standing in the DHB elections? If you work for a DHB, read this!

Later this year, New Zealanders will vote on who we want to represent us on city, district and regional councils, and district health boards (DHBs), across the country.

Over the years a number of PSA members have stood for and been elected to a variety of roles, and as New Zealand residents, we have the same rights to be politically active as anyone else.

We've produced advice for people working in the DHB sector who are considering standing for election to their DHB this year. If you have any further questions, please call the Organising Centre on 0508 367 772.

MPs get some work experience with the PSA

Labour MP Kris Faafoi and Green MP Denise Roche

Labour MP Kris Faafoi and Green MP Denise Roche

In June the PSA's Wellington office hosted work experience of a slightly different kind - two members of parliament came to learn more about the PSA and how we work.

Labour's state services spokesperson Kris Faafoi and the Green's spokesperson for workplace relations and state services, Denise Roche, spent the day with PSA members and staff, hearing about all the work we do to create better working lives across New Zealand. Denise later wrote a blog post about her experience.

We've invited the other political parties to spend a day with us too.

Auditor-General following up on payroll issues

It is important that everybody is paid what they are entitled to, and we are making sure this is the case for all PSA members. You may remember news stories from April about payroll issues at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Since then, it has become clear that this problem is far more widespread than previously thought.

The Auditor-General has written to the auditors of state sector and local government agencies, asking them to investigate possible payroll issues during their auditing process. Today, PSA national secretary Glenn Barclay met with the Auditor-General to discuss with her the initiative she has taken, and to inform her about our work on this issue.

PSA speaking out

In the media, our upcoming action at Aviation Security has been prominent, with national secretary Glenn Barclay telling Fairfax Media that "Aviation Security workers are law enforcement officers, who help make New Zealand's aviation industry one of the safest and most highly-regarded in the world."

Our other national secretary Erin Polaczuk told Newstalk ZB that the Government needs to get a move on with it's consideration of the way forward for equal pay.

Glenn Barclay also talked with Newshub following the release of a damning report by the ombudsman on an investigation of MFAT by Paula Rebstock. Barclay said an apology was necessary to those harmed by the investigation.

Change your details and join networks online at MyPSA

Do you know you can update your details, access your collective agreement, find out who your delegate is and get news about your sector or network online? All this and more are available on MyPSA, our personalised service for PSA members.

To log in for the first time, you'll need your member number, which you can find in the subject line of most emails the PSA sends to you.