Progressive Thinking: ten perspectives on the future of work

Welcome to our Labour Weekend publication for 2018, which features ten leading authors, academics and campaigners writing journalistically on a broad range of topics around the future of work.

Over the ten chapters, our contributors discuss everything from the concept of employee voice to the case for rethinking work flexibility; from the state of industrial relations law in New Zealand to the role of businesses in addressing human rights issues.

Future of Work cover

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WHAT: Progressive Thinking: ten perspectives on the future of work is the third book in our Progressive Thinking series, following our booklets ten perspectives on tax and ten perspectives on housing that we published last year. It includes a collection of journalistic essays discussing the future of work from ten leading authors, unionists, academics and campaigners.

Over the ten chapters, our contributors discuss everything from the concept of employee voice to the case for rethinking work flexibility; from the state of industrial relations law and collective bargaining in New Zealand to the role of businesses in addressing human rights issues.    

A few recurrent themes emerge during the booklet – the importance of collective worker’s voices in shaping the evolving landscape of work, for example, and the importance of steering this evolution towards a future of work that offers fair and positive environments for all. Several of the authors see New Zealand’s employment relations framework as a problem, and many address the role of businesses and government in creating change. Inequality, climate change, and technological revolution are also discussed frequently.

OVERVIEW: Foreword by Glenn Barclay & Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretaries

  1. Collective voice in a freelance world by Andrew Pakes
  2. Ngā kaupapa and the future of work by Paula Davis and Te IwiNgaro Dunn with Kirsten Windelov
  3. Employee voice by Laura Harvey
  4. Work - the future - are we prepared by Margaret Wilson
  5. Low wages and our weak industrial relations law by Bill Rosenberg
  6. Fair pay agreements: are we ready for them? by Laila Harre
  7. Work in a world of climate change by Sam Huggard
  8. Normalising flexible work by Dr Noelle Donnelly
  9. NZ Businesses role in addressing human rights issues by Dr Jackie Blue
  10. An employers’ guide to manage the revolution by Lisa Heap

WHY: We at the PSA think the time is right for this conversation. The need for equal pay and for low wages to be addressed is part of everyday discussion, and there are clear calls for workplaces to address their workplace cultures and to end bullying and sexual harassment. New Zealand is not alone in this. The emergence of new, technology enabled forms of work, and vastly enhanced data management capability and its implications for privacy, are prompting governments around the world to reconsider how they regulate not just “employment” but newer forms of work.

We all have a stake in the future of work – for ourselves, our families and those who come after us. We can either leave it to others to decide this for us, or we can step up and change the way we do things. We favour the latter. This is a challenge that the PSA accepts and encourages everyone to be part of.