PSA Youth - December 2016
End of the year wrap-up from the PSA network for members under 35.
In this issue:
- Reflections on 2016
- Public Services International Oceania Youth Representative
- PSA Youth Champions
- Wellington Youth Leadership Training – report back
- Happy Holidays!
- Member Q&A – Andrei Gilbert
- Bill English on his 90-day trial
It is fair to say that many people cannot wait for 2016 to be over. It really was an *insert swear word* of a year. Election results overseas that frighten many to the core, war, refugee crises, earthquakes and other natural disasters, public and community sector cut backs, and too many people we admire dying too young.
It’s a good time to reflect on the year that was for the union movement, because in amongst all the madness, we had some big wins!
Along with other unions and political parties, we got rid of zero hours contracts; we've made significant progress towards equal pay for women; the Living Wage movement (of which we're a proud part) expanded further and we're closer than ever to our first living wage councils; the PSA continued our recent trend of growing our membership; PSAY remained a hugely active part with young activists stepping up into leadership roles across our union; and PSAY's achievements were recognised by PSA Congress, who voted in favour of creating new youth roles in our governance structures.
Thanks for your part in making this happen! We're looking forward to a 2017 full of many more victories for us all.
The New Zealand Public Service Association is a member of Public Service International (PSI) – a global union movement for public sector workers. PSI has youth representatives from across the globe, including two Oceania youth representatives. One of the current representatives is standing down in the new year, which will create an exciting opportunity for someone new to fill the role. We think that someone should be from the PSA Youth network!
This is a heads-up about this exciting opportunity. We’ll provide more information and call for EOIs in the new year.
By Auckland PSAY convenor Ofeina Manuel-Barbarich
It is humbling to know that there are passionate young people out there who are interested in the PSA Youth Network and the union movement. This was illustrated by the number of people from the PSA Youth Network in Auckland who recently put their hands up to become PSA Youth Network Champions.
A PSAY Champion is someone who is committed to being recognised as a leader within the PSAY network and in their workplace. The idea is that we identify more active members that we keep in touch with on a more regular basis, to talk about how we can promote PSA Youth in our workplaces, organise local events etc. If it works in Auckland, we’ll expand to the rest of the country.
A couple of weeks ago I organised to meet up with some members interested in becoming Champions. It was a great opportunity to discuss the work we’ve done this year, hear feedback, and discuss why we are interested in becoming involved in the PSA Youth Network.
The opportunity to be part of these conversations is open to all PSAY members. If you’re interested, please email your local PSAY convenor.
By PSAY member Andrei Gilbert
On the 5th of December, I had the opportunity to attend the PSAY leadership training in Wellington. I originally signed up to learn more about the PSA and my leadership skills, as one of my delegates recommended that I attend. The day was great and really informative – learning about the PSA structure, identifying leadership skills and what to work on in the future to develop as a young leader.
It was good to meet and network with likeminded people that wanted to help represent PSA well. If anyone is an upcoming leader or looking at getting involved more with PSAY, do keep your eyes peeled for the next event in your region.
It’s been a busy year, and I’m sure you’re looking forward to a break. Some of you will be able to take a long break over the summer; others will be working through to provide essential public and community services to us all. Thank you to you all for your dedication to the community, and I hope all get a decent break soon.
Next year will be another busy one – last time we wrote we had a different PM – how things can change quickly! 2017 is election year, and the election could be coming sooner than we anticipated! The PSA is leading a campaign in the lead up to the election for strong public and community services. That campaign is called Stand Together, and want you to be involved. Now’s the time to rejuvenate yourself for some big activities ahead!
Andrei Gilbert, logistical support officer, Department of Internal Affairs.
What were you initial thoughts on signing up to do this Q&A?
I recently became a delegate and attended the PSA leadership training and thought it would be cool to share about myself
What is your job and what do you do on an average day at work?
I work at DIA as a logistical support office and we open and process mail the department receives with a high level of accuracy.
What was a highlight at work for you in the past month?
A highlight would be our Christmas lunch as we have been able to celebrate the year. I work with great team and manager so that's another highlight too.
What do you enjoy about being a part of PSA and PSA Youth, and what brought you to join?
I joined the PSA as I believe that everyone should have a fair and equal opportunity at work, no matter what status they have at their workplace.
What is your vision for young members of the PSA?
My vision for young PSA members is to help people know that here is a union in NZ and with the right people and support the PSA can be effective and strong to get results.
How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I am a big football fan so I’m either watching football, playing FIFA or reading news. I also like to spend time with friends and family, the latter when I’m back home visiting my parents and rest of family.
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
My advice for a sixteen year old may be just to potentially have a gap year when you finish school.
As part of a campaign against 90-day trials, which hurt young workers in particular, Stand Up, the cross-union youth network, has announced they're putting the new PM Bill English on a 90-day trial.
Check out more on the Stand Up Facebook page!