PSA News - November 2016

The latest news and views from across our union

What are the issues you care about?

Every day, PSA members go above and beyond, so this campaign is about us – the work we do and the communities we serve.

election asksNow, as the 2017 election gets closer, we’re identifying our big issues. What are we most concerned about – for our families; our workplaces our communities; for New Zealand? What needs to change?

Fill out the survey now – what matters to you?

Are you thinking about standing as a candidate in the 2017 general election? Please email Dairne Grant in the PSA Policy team, as we are keen to talk with you about your right to be politically active.

mike swearing inPSA members elected

The local body and district health board elections are now over - thanks to all PSA members who had their say on the future of their communities.

A special congratulations to the PSA members who were successfully elected to various roles – Mike Tana: Mayor, Porirua City; Zoe Brownlie: Auckland DHB; Richard Hills: Auckland Council; Christine O’Brien: Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board; Angela Mcleod: Upper Hutt City Council; Jake McLellan: Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board, Christchurch.

helen kelly ripRIP Helen Kelly

We joined with thousands of other New Zealanders to mourn the loss of our dear friend Helen Kelly, former president of the Council of Trade Unions.

Helen was a powerful campaigner and voice for working people across our country, and around the world, and she will be sorely missed.

Read a tribute from our national secretaries on the PSA website.

Superwoman super delegatePSA in your office

Do you have some empty wall space that needs filling? Or some old posters that need updating? Consider the PSA's poster range for all your office decorating needs! From sharp and sophisticated through to fun and informal, our range of posters is constantly growing.

Can't print at work? Contact us at with which posters you're after and where you want them mailed to and we'll send them out at no cost.

New research shows it pays to be union

We know that being part of our union means we're stronger together. When we speak with one shared voice, we are heard louder than if we stand alone. The latest research from Victoria University's Centre for Labour, Employment and Work confirms what we've known - that being part of our union is the smartest move we can make.

Bill Rosenberg, the Council of Trade Unions' economist, has analysed the data and found that wages in collective agreements increased by an average of 1.9% across New Zealand in the last year, while overall wages (mostly people on individual agreements) only rose by 1.5%.

In the 12 months to June 2016, 99% of people on collective agreements got a pay rise, while less than half of people on an individual agreement saw their pay increase.

Joining together makes sense - tell your workmates and invite them to become part of the PSA by visiting or phoning 0508 367 772.

New convenor team for the Women's Network

Our PSA Women's Network Committee met in Wellington recently and saw a new convenor team elected. Following the election of Janet Quigley as the new PSA president, Virginia Wilton from the Ministry of Social Development was elected as the new convenor of the network. She will be supported by a co-convenor team of Nancy McShane, (Canterbury DHB), Chantelle Smith (Department of Internal Affairs), and Shani Wallace (Inland Revenue).

Womens Network CommitteeYou can join the Women's Network on the PSA website or by phoning 0508 367 772.

People's Mental Health Review – get involved!

The People’s Mental Health Review campaign website has published the first round of crowd-sourced stories from clients, family members and mental health professionals. Have a look at the website. The campaign encourages families, individuals and professionals to tell their personal stories. The goal is to encourage the government to order a Royal Commission of Inquiry or a Ministerial Inquiry into New Zealand’s public mental health system.

If you’d like to contribute to the People’s Mental Health campaign, you are welcome to do so. But you should be aware that any stories submitted may be published on the website and subsequent reports, and used as part of a submission to MPs.

We would urge you to consider the following:

  • While you need to enter a name and e-mail address on the website, you can choose to remain anonymous. We would recommend that you do this;
  • You must comply with your workplace’s media, communications and health and safety policies, as well as codes of conduct;
  • You also need to consider your own professional obligations, including not breaching patient privacy;
  • Avoid mentioning your specific role, place of work or any other detail that may identify you;
  • Don’t name anyone or provide identifying details;
  • Don’t talk about other people’s experiences – stick to your own.

Family violence is a workplace issue

For far too many New Zealanders, family violence is a reality. It doesn’t end at home – our workplaces can be places of respite, and the financial security they can offer can help us to escape, but the harm violence does also has a significant impact there.

Read an article about this from the latest issue of Working Life, the PSA magazine.

We've just updated our Family violence and workplaces area on the PSA website, with useful resources and information that you can use in your workplaces.

Workplace Dynamics - new survey of PSA members being released soon

In 2013, thousands of you answered a survey about your working lives that was published as Workplace Dynamics in the New Zealand Public Services. The survey was the largest of it's kind in New Zealand, and provided us and academic researchers with a wealth of useful information about the motivation and experience of PSA members.

We've partnered with Victoria University's School of Management again, and earlier this year more than 14,000 of you answered our second Workplace Dynamics survey. We're pleased to let you know that the results will be launched in Wellington later this month, and we look forward to sharing them with you in future issues of PSA News and Working Life.

Across the PSA

Equal pay regional meetings

The Council of Trade Unions is kick-starting a round of regional campaign updates on equal pay. These meetings will include the opportunity to plan and set up regional campaign groups.

Join us in this national campaign mobilising supporters from all over Aotearoa. Come along and find out more about the campaign and be part of organising for equal pay in your region!

CTU equal pay campaigner Camilla Belich will discuss equal pay with members of the community who are interested in being a part of this historic campaign.

  • Hamilton: 12.30 pm, Thursday 10 November 2016 at the Agora Café (13b Kent Street, Hamilton);
  • Palmerston North: 1 pm, Monday 21 November 2016 at Hancock Community House (77-85 King Street, Palmerston North);
  • Nelson: 12.30 pm, Thursday 1 December 2016 at the Victory Community Centre (Totara Street, Nelson);
  • Christchurch: 12 noon, Monday 5 December 2016 at Knox Church (28 Bealey Avenue, Christchurch);
  • Dunedin: 1pm, Thursday 8 December 2016 at Community House (Brian Arnold Room, Community House, 301 Moray Place, Dunedin).

All welcome! Tea, coffee and light refreshments provided.

RSVP or find out more: or 04 801 0836.

In the State Sector, bargaining has been busy in the tertiary education cluster. At Auckland University, members have supported industrial action, along with colleagues belonging to the Tertiary Education Union (TEU). Our priority claims including progression for professional staff, a living wage, and a flat rate pay increase. This involved rallies, and no work beyond contracted hours.

At Waikato University, members are attending report back meetings to consider an offer to increase salary ranges. At Victoria University of Wellington, a new collective agreement was recently ratified. Bargaining is about to start at the Open Polytechnic.

Careers NZ and the Tertiary Education Commission are working towards joining next year, following a government directive. The PSA is engaging with both employers, and delegates from both organisations are starting to meet with each other, to plan for this.

In AsureQuality, meat inspectors in some sites are dealing with a new employer requirement to wear face shields, which may create additional health and safety risks. We are meeting with the employer to discuss further, and have brought this matter to the attention of Worksafe.

Bargaining has begun at the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

At the Airways Corporation, members are voting on a proposed settlement with annual pay rises.

For our Public Service sector, we have a proposed collective agreement in the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) for our members covered by the Service Delivery collective agreement. This includes a 2% increase each year of the two year term.

Education Review Office members are voting on their proposed collective agreement which includes a 1.75% increase for most members this year and next year, with a term of two years and nine months.

MSD are about to release their ‘consultation’ document on the proposed structure of the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, and the rest of MSD. We expect the main impact to be on the National Office, rather than front-line services. We will be holding meetings with members and engaging with MSD over their proposal.

In the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the consultation period for their proposed restructuring of Operations and Service Delivery has been extended until November 11th. The PSA will be working with MOJ on matters arising from the consultation with members.

PSA speaking out

PSA delegate Gwenda Nicolle (pictured below, left) gave a submission to Parliament on behalf of our members at the NZ Fire Service, with their views about the legislation that would see New Zealand's three different fire organisations merge into one. Great stuff, Gwenda! She was supported in her submission by PSA policy advisor Kirsten Windelov.

fire serviceIn the last month, we've also submitted:

You can view a number of our submissions on the PSA website.