Standing together for equality

The PSA Women’s Network is hard at work preparing their biennial national conference - Stand Together for Equality, Tū ngātahi kia Taurite.

womens network2The conference will be on 28 and 29 July at the Brentwood Hotel in Wellington.

The Women's Network is an integral part of the PSA, promoting and supporting women throughout the union, providing leadership training and focusing on women’s issues within the union and their workplaces. PSA membership is 71% women, so a strong voice for women is essential at every level of the organisation.

There’s already a busy agenda, including PSA national secretary Erin Polaczuk and CTU vice president Rachel Macintosh; panel discussions featuring women who lead unions; and workshops and activities around the theme of women’s equality at work and in society.

Dr Cybele Locke, a lecturer at Victoria University’s School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations, will give a keynote address. Her presentation is titled We want raises, not roses: women’s power in the unions, and will talk about how women’s participation has shaped the union movement in NZ, particularly the participation of Māori women, from the 1950s through to today.

The conference will cover a wide variety of issues for women – both within the PSA and within their workplaces. Equal pay, the future of the union and a variety of workshops on topics such as international unionism, health and safety for women and dealing with sexual harassment will be covered.

There will also be a regional focus, with chances for regional groups to discuss issues faced in their communities, as well as the opportunity to meet and discuss on larger nationwide issues.

The conference aims to set the direction of the Women’s Network for coming years, with several sessions to discuss the direction and priorities of the network planned. Network committee elections will be held at the conference, including electing regional convener roles.