PSA Youth - July 2016
Here's the latest news and views from PSA Youth, our largest network, for all members aged under 35.
PSA Youth at Congress – September 2016
- The PSAY bargaining workgroup is underway
- 90 day trials – they don’t work (yeah, we knew that)!
- Convenor elections coming up!
- Stand Together young heroes
- Dunedin is standing up for students
- In solidarity
- Member Q&A
- Proud to be unionised Pokémon!
The PSA Biennial Congress is taking place in Wellington on 20-21 September. We’re stoked that lots of young delegates expressed an interest in attending, and 28 young delegates (out of a total delegation of 141) have been selected to attend. It’s great there’ll be a strong youth voice at Congress – the highest decision-making body of the PSA. Attendees will come together to make decisions about PSA rules and priorities, and elect the PSA president.
Because of a rule change we proposed (and that was passed) last Congress, this year we also have the opportunity to select three delegates to attend as representatives of the PSA Youth network. PSAY convenors Caleb Gordon, Catherine Weusten and Ofeina Manuel-Barbarich will be attending in this capacity.
PSA Youth has submitted a remit to be considered by the delegates at Congress this year. We are asking delegates to support our proposal that the PSA rules be amended so that each PSA sector committee and the PSA Executive Board must create a designated PSA Youth role on their committee. You can read our full proposal and rationale here. In the lead up to Congress, PSA Youth convenors and other members are meeting with sector committees and other representatives going to Congress to encourage them to support our remit. If you support this proposal, please reach out to delegates in your workplace who are attending Congress, and explain why you think they should vote in favour.
In the lead up to to Congress, we will also be reaching out to all of the youth delegates attending, to discuss how we can work together and connect over the two day event.
Following the item in last month’s newsletter about forming a PSAY bargaining workgroup, we had interest from over 30 PSAY members who were keen to take part! We had our first meeting by VC, and have decided to split into two groups – one to work on communications about bargaining (particularly a guide for young members to get involved in bargaining), and one to work on some model clauses that could be taken to bargaining.
We discussed possible content for the guide. We also brainstormed the kind of clauses young members might be interested in, including on the topics of insecure work, flexible working arrangements, internships, release for network activities, professional development, and career progression.
We will continue to provide updates through this newsletter. If you’re interested in getting involved, please let us know at email@example.com.
New research has shown what we've been saying for years - 90 day trials don't help young people into work, despite this being the main rationale provided for having them. Unfortunately, the Government has shown clearly that they don't care, with John Key stating he would rather believe positive feedback he's got from an anonymous small business owner to properly conducted research commissioned by the Treasury.
We know that 90 day trials mean more uncertainty, they make it harder for people to stand up to bullying bosses, and they have the most negative impact on the most vulnerable people, including young people.
Stand Up, the Council of Trade Unions' youth network, has asked MPs to meet and to commit to getting rid of 90 day trials. They'll be reporting on what political parties are willing to promise soon.
Following a call for expressions of interest for vacant PSAY convenor roles, we are very pleased to have received three expressions of interest for the provincial convenor role, and two for the national co-convenor (female) role. We will be sending out information soon on the candidates and how to vote.
We have not yet received any formal expressions of interest for the Wellington Convenor role, although there has been some interest in the role. If you are based in Wellington, please consider standing for this great leadership and development opportunity. You can find more info here.
All over New Zealand, PSA members are our local heroes - doing amazing work in our jobs, and in our own time, to help build a better society for all. Our Stand Together campaign is highlighting local heroes, and we want to hear about yours - email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your colleague, neighbour or friend and why they're your hero. Include a photo too if possible (maybe a selfie of both of you?)
Caleb, our PSAY national convenor, posted recently about his local hero, Kate (also a PSAY member):
Kate is a local hero to me for the passionate serenity she brings to her work and community activism. With what I can only describe as an inexhaustible supply of passion, at Community Law Kate is out in the world fighting for equity and equality while in her down time she continue this by supporting some of the most marginalised people in our communities through organisations like Naming New Zealand.
When around other people her passion translates into an enthusiasm that is infectious, you can't help but want to stand together with Kate on whatever she is working on. Even when dealing with the most unpleasant realities she projects an aura of comfort and serenity that makes you feel as though there is no way we can lose.
Kate gives me hope and confidence, and I can use that go and fight and win my own battles for equity and equality.
This week Dunedin PSAY members organised a Video Conference training for the Stand Up for Students programme run by Stand Up and the Young Workers Resource Centre (YWRC). The purpose of the programme is to make contact with high schools and talk to year 12 and 13 students about their employment rights and the role of unions.
We had 5 eager youth members from three different Unions (NZNO, E tū and PSA) turn up to be trained as volunteers to speak at schools. They’ll be putting their training into practice over the next few weeks, and we’ll let you know how it goes. If you are keen to see this happen in your area you can email email@example.com.
Every month Stand Up, the youth network for all unions, puts out a newsletter with the latest news and views from young people across our movement. You can read the June issue online and subscribe to future issues by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, across the Tasman, Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) have sacked 55 union members, replaced them with non-members, and told them if they want their jobs back they have to accept a 65% pay cut! CUB make beer brands like VB, Crown Lager, Carlton Dry and Strongbow, so keep an eye out and avoid these beers until our fellow unionists are treated fairly.
You can sign an online petition to CUB's management calling for them to reinstate their unionised workforce immediately.
Kelsey-Rae Taylor, media and communications advisor, Oxfam New Zealand.
What were you initial thoughts on signing up to do this Q&A?
Why are they asking me?
I’m not interesting enough
I don’t want to tell people about myself
I should do it anyway
What is your job and what do you do on an average day at work?
I am a media and communications advisor at Oxfam New Zealand. It’s an incredible place to work, with lovely, passionate people and a daily challenge to meet poverty and injustice with a resolute but positive attitude. Broadly I am responsible for representing Oxfam’s voice in the media, writing press releases, statements and also gathering content from the people we work with so we can tell their stories in a respectful, positive way.
What was a highlight at work for you in the past month?
Getting the job. I’d been in a different role with Oxfam for the last year and moving into this one has been a small dream come true.
What would you say is the hardest thing about your job?
It can be very fast-paced and high pressure at times, especially with the push and pull of media, but these are also usually the most exciting moments where Oxfam can really use our position as a platform to give voice to those people who often don’t get heard.
What do you enjoy about being a part of PSA and PSA Youth, and what brought you to join?
I enjoy having the chance to influence and make a difference on issues that are important to me. And I believe that the power of people coming together for a common goal can create something that is more than the sum of its parts.
What is your vision for young members of the PSA?
To be heard and be represented; and to feel a part of something that matters.
How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I try to balance office life with a few creative pursuits. I sing in a choir, make jewellery and play the bass guitar (though not very well). I’m also studying part-time to finish my degree in Politics, and amongst all of this try to spend time with friends and family, especially my 3 year old nephew.
What cause would get you out on the streets protesting and why?
Challenging any kind of injustice is just part of what makes me tick, but I think inequality and the effects of climate change are two of the bigger issues of our time and deserve as much attention as we can give them.
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
You don’t need to impress anyone.
Last book you read?
A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara. An absolutely incredible but devastating read, I can definitely recommend although you may need therapy afterwards!