Working Life: President's message

PSA president Janet Quigley writes that the range and pace of activity across all sectors covered by the PSA is picking up its intensity in 2018.

As being played out daily in the public arena and media, the challenges for unions in 2018 are both demanding and exciting.

The current Government is setting an ambitious agenda and is presenting significant opportunities for the PSA to engage with to directly benefit all members.

Our work on Equal Pay

Priorities such as our work on equal pay remain constant, and are in step with issues we have repeatedly been at the forefront of over the 105 years since the PSA was founded.

It is heartening to observe and celebrate the diversity of societal and industrial breakthroughs that often take years and decades of dedicated effort to achieve.

As an example I along with other union representatives and the National Council of Women, attended the launch of the NZ Football pay parity event in May where the ‘playing field’ between women and men in that sport was made more equal. If football can do it so can we!

Transforming Our Workplaces

One of the ongoing areas of PSA work that is quietly but steadily gaining more traction is the trust and effectiveness strand of our Transforming Our Workplaces agenda.

Proof that High Performance High Engagement practices can make a real and lasting difference, for instance, won recognition this year at the South Canterbury DHB with an award presented to PSA members Maureen Chamberlain and Jo Hunter and NZNO member Chris Gloag for their joint project mahi. SCDHB chief executive Nigel Trainor has commended HPHE for creating “a platform to establish change”.

The importance of networks


A highly valued aspect of the PSA that I always draw members’ attention to is the strength of our network groups for connecting you to other members with similar interests or issues across the union as a whole.

Planning for the next Women’s Network conference, which I am supporting, is well underway for 16-17 August.

A recent highlight for the network was an opportunity to meet with Government MP Jan Logie who spoke about her Domestic Violence—Victims' Protection Bill.

I was in the gallery at Parliament when it passed its second reading on 13 June and it was gratifying to hear MPs give acknowledgements of the part PSA played in this being taken forward - led by former PSA president Paula Scholes. Thank you so much Paula.

If enacted this piece of legislation will support victims of domestic violence to remain in paid employment by providing 10 days paid leave a year, allowing time for attending court, meeting with support groups or just being with children or family members who may need extra care.

A key event coming up in the next quarter of the year is the PSA Congress. Held every second year this is set to take place in Auckland on 25-26 September.

It will draw your PSA delegates from all over the country together to focus on the future of our union, as well as on the theme of the future of work in a rapidly changing world.