PSA News - October 2016

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

Congress 2016 a roaring success

On September 20-21, more than 150 PSA delegates from across the country gathered in Wellington for two days of discussion, debate and decision making.

PSA Congress 2017Congress received presentations on the 2016 annual report (from Mike Tana, PSA president) and the 2016 financial report (from Andy Colwell, PSA treasurer), and elected a new president to lead the PSA. Janet Quigley, a health promoter at Community and Public Health in Timaru, was elected for a two-year term, replacing Mike Tana.

A number of rule changes were also voted on. Delegates voted to require governance bodies of the PSA to match the percentage of women in the structures they represent, as a step towards addressing the gender imbalance in some of our leadership structures. Our youth network had a remit passed which means that the Executive Board will make a plan for youth representatives on each of our sector committees and on the Board itself. Also, we now have a fifth formal network, with our Deaf and Disabled Members' Network being given official status.

For photos, video and reports from Congress, visit

Cover of the September issue of Working LifeWorking Life

Check out the September issue of Working Life, in your workplace and online.

This issue focuses on the local body and DHB elections. Voting closes at 12noon on Saturday 8 October, so if you haven't voted yet, you'll need to hand your ballot papers in at your local council office before then.

We also look at how we can support people experiencing family violence or sexual harassment, and more!

election asks iconWhat matters to you?

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

Now, 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?

PSA Runanga Poster A3 2015 signoffPSA 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.

Use your voice - vote today!

New Zealand’s a great place to live. Everywhere you look – from pavements to street lights, libraries to parks, drinking water to rubbish collection – local government helps it stay that way. It’s time to stand together and vote for candidates who’ll support quality local services and an excellent public healthcare system.

Local government and district health board elections help choose the people who make decisions about our communities. Your vote will help select candidates who value keeping public services in ratepayers’ hands – and DHB members who value well-funded, quality healthcare.Click here for all the info you need, including our illustrated guide to candidaYour vote needs to be with your Council by lunchtime on Saturday 8 October - that's this weekend! If you haven't voted yet, fill in your ballot paper and drop it off, and if you've lost your ballot then your local council can help you with that too.

Don't miss out - have your say today!

Ngā Kaupapa launched

Congress saw the launch of Ngā Kaupapa, our plan to ensure our Māori members are properly engaged and able to contribute in their workplaces. Marshall Tangaroa, convenor of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, presented Ngā Kaupapa to Congress delegates and talked them through the history, and how it can be used to create a better working life for our Māori members.

Marshall Tangaroa, convenor of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, presents Ngā Kaupapa

Marshall Tangaroa, convenor of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, presents Ngā Kaupapa to PSA Congress 2016

A digital version will be available soon, but in the meantime if you want to know more, you can read this article from Working Life or talk to your PSA organiser.

Equal pay update

We've been in negotiations with the Government, employer representatives and our sister unions for several months to attempt to negotiate a way forward for equal pay in the care and support sector.

Now, the Government negotiators have committed to making a formal offer to unions in the week beginning 7 November, with the aim of having a signed-off plan before Christmas.

If this occurs, the PSA and our sister unions will hold members' meetings of people working in residential aged care, home support and disability support in February and March next year to discuss and vote on whether or not to accept the agreement.

We are still awaiting a response from the Government to the other set of equal pay negotiations, which wrote up a set of principles to implement equal pay for female-dominated occupations across the wider economy.

To get involved in winning equal pay, sign up to be a PSA Equal Pay Advocate, either on our website or by phoning 0508 367 772.

PSA graphic for Suffrage DayCommemorate Suffrage Day on social media

On September 19, 1893, New Zealand women won the right to vote. 2016 marks 123 years since that historic change in New Zealand law.

Shamefully, New Zealand women are still paid less than their male counterparts, simply because of their gender.

This needs to change. New Zealand should be a fair and equitable society, and this starts by paying people what we are worth.

You can learn more about equal pay in New Zealand at or share our image on Facebook.

MNZ Neighbourly Morning TeaHost a neighbourhood morning tea to celebrate migrants

This Labour weekend, Multicultural New Zealand are encouraging communities to host morning teas to celebrate New Zealand's cultural and ethnic diversity and the contribution to our communities made by migrants, newcomers and refugees.

The morning teas are a way to fundraise for the work of Multicultural New Zealand, and if you register online you will be provided with morning tea supplies and local contacts.

Register online to host a morning tea and celebrate our communities.

Across the PSA

In the State Sector, bargaining is currently underway at ESR, IAG, Radio NZ, Careers NZ, Alpine Energy, Housing NZ, WorkSafe and NIWA. Our members at Victoria University will soon vote on a proposed new collective agreement.

At the University of Auckland, PSA members joined their colleagues in our sister union the TEU to take industrial action in an effort to reach a satisfactory settlement with their employer.

We are working closely with our members at Careers NZ following a decision to merge the organisation into the Tertiary Education Commission early next year.

The Community Public Services sector has ongoing bargaining at a number of larger enterprises, including Spectrum Care, Te Roopu Taurima, Emerge, Healthcare NZ, MASH Trust, Nurse Maude and Access. Bargaining is difficult due to significant underfunding across the sector, and pay increases in settled agreements are generally around 1%.

Work continues on the in-between travel agreement, and on the impact of the employment standards legislation, which are both proving to be complex pieces of work.

For our Public Service sector, we are working to revise pay systems at several agencies, including Inland Revenue, Ministry of Justice and the Department of Conservation. Some enterprises we are bargaining with are refusing to negotiate pay as part of the collective agreement, and we are working through these issues to ensure our members are able to negotiate over this fundamental term of employment.

Thousands of our members at the Ministry of Social Development will be affected by the formation of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, in April 2017. We have met with Gráinne Moss, who will be the new agency's chief executive, and made clear how we intend to work with them through this change process.

In the District Health Board sector, we are one of the sponsors of the Anaesthetic Technicians National Conference being held in Auckland, and will have a stall with some of our anaesthetic technician members promoting PSA membership.

Two working groups are also soon to meet, both coming out of collective bargaining with the DHBs. The National Engagement Forum for our Allied, Technical and Scientific members, and the Mental Health working group, will both work on a range of issues impacting on those members.

Our Local Government sector has new collective agreements at Christchurch City and Wellington City councils. In Christchurch, members will receive 2% pay increases per year for the next two years, and additional movement for our lowest paid members.

The agreement at Wellington City Council is particularly notable as it is the first collective there since the 1990s that covers all of our non-manager members under a single agreement.

PSA speaking out

PSA in the media

Our South Island DHB administrative and clerical members were in the news after they negotiated a 10-15% pay increase in their recent bargaining.

Janet Quigley, our new president, was also featured in her local newspaper The Timaru Herald.

Staffing shortages in Waitemata DHB's acute mental health unit are so severe that beds have been closed as people working there fear for their safety.

Recent submissions

We have submitted on the Government's Draft Health of Older People Strategy. Thank you to PSA members who sent in their views to contribute to this submission.