Multiple unions endorse call for free and universal basic services

The Public Service Association welcomes the decision by FIRST Union to join the campaign for an Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment, a policy proposal that all New Zealanders should receive services like healthcare, education, public transport and broadband internet for free.

The campaign calls on politicians to be more bold and transformative with their policies as we rebuild from Covid-19, and with the endorsement from a major private sector union the Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment is now backed by organisations representing over 100,000 Kiwis.

"The experience of lockdown and the ongoing global response to Covid-19 proves beyond all doubt that governments can show leadership and deeply transform the way our economies and societies operate," says Erin Polaczuk, National Secretary of the PSA.

"The old status quo has to end, and the question is now what kind of society we want to live in. We believe New Zealanders deserve a country where the basic necessities that allow us to live with dignity are guaranteed, and provided to all through a sustainable and progressive tax system."

Posters are going up on walls in major cities around New Zealand this week, promoting the campaign for universal basic services and encouraging people to visit the Let’s Do Even Better website where more information can be found.

Union members are being provided with postcards on which they can write whatever they’d like to say to the politicians they think will lead our next government, which will then be sent on to the political parties for consideration.

"We see this as an exciting opportunity to get ordinary New Zealanders active and engaged in an election year. Everyone can have a decent standard of living and fully contribute to our society if we empower ordinary working people and encourage politicians to be bold," says Dennis Maga, General Secretary of FIRST Union.

"This Government has a once in a lifetime opportunity to enact policies that will underwrite the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders for generations to come. This should be a country where no one is left behind."