Working Life March 2018 - Network briefs
Updates from across the PSA's networks
The Social Workers’ Action Network is focused on the proposed Social Work Registration Bill. The Bill would make registration mandatory for all social workers. While mandatory registration is something many organisations have been pushing for, this bill has several issues that will mean more trouble than good for social work.
The way the bill is currently written, there is no solid definition provided for social work, leaving it up to employers to define. This means employers only have to change someone’s job title from social worker to something else to avoid the mandatory registration.
This could impact equal pay for social workers. If employers have to pay someone with the title ‘social worker’ a specific wage, they will likely try to skirt the law and employ people under another title.
We will be calling on all PSA members who are social workers to make their voiced heard on this bill. Lobbying MPs and other actions will be necessary to make sure positive changes happen and that any bill to regulate social work actually supports rather than diminishes us.
The SWAN leadership hui for activist training is taking place on 20 and 21 March. Attendees will have one on one time with our expert campaign and communications team, as well as support from our policy team on how best to communicate, campaign and lobby for the interests of social workers and those we work alongside.
Youth Leadership Training is currently underway, with successful training sessions held in Hamilton and Dunedin. We received more than 90 expressions of interest to attend from Auckland members, and so we’ve been forced to schedule a second day of training – a great problem to have! We are hoping to do repeats sessions in more centres in May, including Hamilton and other regional areas.
Our fabulous convenor team have planning days scheduled for early April, and no doubt these will help to kick off some exciting plans for the rest of the year.
We are excited to welcome new PSA organiser Alexandra Ward to the PSA Youth team. She will be providing support to Lauren Hourigan, who is the lead staff member for the network.
“I think this is awesome timing, coming on board at the time that there’s such a huge amount of interest in Youth Leadership Training,” said Alexandra. “I’m excited to try and use that interest to make even more cool things happen in this space.”
Warm Pacific greetings to all our Pasefika members. Last year we held a Fono in Wellington, with the focus on the equal pay. While across government, women are paid 14% less than men, for Pacific women this difference is even greater – about 20%. The Fono also discussed why Pacific people choose certain roles than often pay less. We will continue the conversation at our next Fono in Auckland on 23 March.
Deaf & Disabled Network
The Deaf and Disabled members’ network has a new PSA organiser supporting them. Joe Kelly, a recent addition to the PSA, works with members in the Community Public Services sector in roles like home support, disability support and with several non-government organisations. Prior to working for the PSA he worked for FIRST Union for 5 years. Joe has been a PSA member and a PSA delegate in his previous time in public service before becoming a union organiser.
Want to join a network?
Some of the most active and interesting work that happens within the PSA is spurred by our networks. If you’re interested in getting involved you can visit psa.org.nz/networks or give us a call on 0508 367 772.