Public servants deserve a safe working environment

The Public Service Association welcomes the introduction of workplace standards by the State Services Commission that make it clear public services should expect positive and safe workplaces.

2016 research done by the PSA, in collaboration with Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work, found 43% of public servants had experienced bullying at work and a third had experienced discrimination. 

"Everyone deserves a workplace where they feel safe and respected," says Glenn Barclay, National Secretary of the Public Service Association.

"It’s positive to see the State Services Commission takes the problem seriously and is working on solutions. Public servants work in highly pressured environments and this puts them at greater risk."

"People working in public services are motivated to make a difference for New Zealanders. In their work they are rightly expected to show respect and care for New Zealanders. They can only do this if their workplaces operate according to these same values."

There is greater risk of mistreatment in workplaces with high work pressure and additional hours expected, coupled with less access to flexible working.

Organisations where change is managed well and people are able to contribute their views report lower rates of bullying.

"The safety of our members is our top priority," says Mr Barclay.

"We fully support the standards, and will also work independently as a union to hold agencies to account for meeting them."