PSAY Pre Hui Panui
Its a jammed packed issue before the PSAY Hui, covering off a year in review and Hui updates as well as hearing form South Island Provincial Convenor Jacqueline Atkinson
Convenor Q&A with Jacqueline Atkinson – South Island Provincial
What is your job and what do you do on an average day at work?
I am a Tenancy Manager for the Dunedin City Council. I am responsible for 1/3 of our Community Housing portfolio which is about 310 tenancies spread across the Dunedin area. We do everything from managing current tenancies to interviewing applicants and placing them in units as well as managing the asset in terms of maintenance and upgrades etc. No two days are the same, its pretty rare that I am at my desk for more than an hour at a time. I spend a lot of time talking to potential tenants, or out and about visiting our current ones!
What attracted you to the convenor role?
For me it was the chance to get involved and have a say. Where I work, there are a lot of older people who have been there for years, and as a young person, it can be hard to get your views across. PSAY gives you the platform to have your say about working issues that matter to you, and other young people. I wanted to get out there and inspire the other quiet people to stand up and have their views heard.
Did you have any doubts about applying? And how did you get past them?
It was a very last-minute decision at Hui 2017 for me to stand for the convenor role, and to be honest, it was one of the best decisions I have made. It was down to our amazing organiser Lauren, and a few of the other Hui attendees that talked me into it the night before the elections. I am typically what you call “Shy-Outgoing”. In small groups I am relatively outspoken but I am awful at public speaking and just tend to shut down in front of large groups. I guess some of my main doubts were things like “what if I don’t know enough?” “I have only been involved for two months, what can I contribute?” “all these other people are so amazing and in to this, how am I going to be like that too?” Talking to other amazing people gave me the courage to stand up for the role. I can say it has been the best learning and growth experience, it has pushed me to do things so far outside my comfort zone (like talking to a room of 200 scary union delegates at Congress in 2018) that I feel like I am a different person to the one that first attended youth leadership training in Christchurch in early 2017. PSAY has been a huge part of that.
What is your ultimate dream for this platform?
To keep encouraging young people to get involved and use this platform to have their voices heard. We spend a huge chunk of our lives at work, so to get active and involved early is key to having a great working life. What cause would get you out on the streets protesting, and why? Anything! I’m more inclined to do something if I am asked by someone else who is passionate (Like joining the union!) But remember, it’s not just about being rowdy out on the street, it can be as simple as kind supportive words, donating to a cause or volunteering some time. Small things matter too!
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Start using your voice! You’re going to need it later!
Hui 2019 – Back to the Future Update
The EOIs for Hui 2019 have closed and all participants should have been notified. Thank you to all those who submitted EOIs. It was so hard to select only 60 participants with the quality that we received, but we are confident we have a great mix of experience and newbies. The convenor team met in Wellington recently to help with the programme and put together workshop ideas that you guys want to attend. We are under a month to go now! Keep an eye out through our Facebook page for more updates! We are going to profile some key figures in union history, and a few other things so if you are attending Hui, we advise you to pay attention...
A Year in PSAY
We thought it might be a great time to reflect on some of the awesome things we have accomplished as a network in the last 12 months. We have all contributed to some awesome pieces of work!
Congress 101 & Congress 2018
Before the Biennial Congress in September 2018, we held Congress 101 for our PSAY members to come and learn what Congress is all about.
Congress is where all the decision making for the PSA happens and is attended by delegates all over the country.
As some of our PSAY members were attending for the first time, we wanted to make sure they knew what to expect. Congress 101 was a successful event which we live streamed to various PSA offices around the country and through our Facebook page.
PSAY had been working hard for the last few years to try and get youth representation in structures of the PSA including the Executive Board. Past and current convenor teams and numerous other groups worked hard on getting the notices of motion ready in time for Congress. It was a huge feeling of relief when our notices of motion were passed, and all the hard work paid off. The current youth observers on the sector committees and the board became fully fledged members with voting rights.
Our main motion was around the requirement of the youth representative to be a workplace delegate or hold another leadership position in the network.
We got a lot of push back on this, as some older members viewed the delegate role as a rite of passage, and therefore our representative should be a delegate. We explained that a lot of our members struggle to become delegates in their workplaces due to some delegates holding the role for several years, and that the PSAY network is a great pathway into the PSA. By being a leader in the network, they often go forward to become a delegate later, after PSAY helps them to grow. It was awesome to see a lot of other members support and speak to our motion.
It really was a battle, but we got over the line. These two motions were what many PSAY members worked for a long time so it’s great to see that we are finally there.
Youth Leadership Training
We held another big round of youth leadership training in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Whangarei and Hamilton. We also sent out a survey to you all asking if you had attended, want to attend, and if there are any other locations you want us to come to.
Keep an eye out for the next round after Hui if you haven’t attended before. It is a great way to learn how PSAY can help grow your leadership skills not only within the union, but workplaces, and communities as well. We have also been exploring the possibility of a refreshed 2-day course, so keep a look out for that in the coming months.
Stand Up CTU Conference – Power Up!
Stand up is the youth committee of the Council of Trade Unions (CTU). A delegation of 10 PSAY members attended the Stand-Up Conference in Auckland in March of this year. It was a great experience to be around like-minded youth from other unions to discuss issues that all young workers face across a variety of sectors.
We really look forward to continuing to engage with Stand Up and help get our PSAY members’ views across on a wider scale