• Posted on: 30/10/2021
  • 3 minutes to read

Our over-arching goals of building strong public and community services, a strong, modern and influential union, achieving equity in the workplace, and transforming work, remain the same.

But PSA President Benedict Ferguson says underlying those goals we’ve identified some specific ways we can help bring about the changes we are seeking to achieve.


“It’s part of our DNA to refresh our goals every few years and this time around we are wanting to be a bit more targeted in our approach.”

“A number of our goals now contain specific aims, many of which reflect our bicultural and environmental values.” 

One example of this is the inclusion of ‘improving the working conditions of wāhine Māori through the Mana Wahine treaty claim’ under our goal of equity in the workplace.

“This does not dilute the importance of pay equity. It shows how equity is about more than just pay, it’s about wanting workplaces to be inclusive,” Benedict says.

“It also shows the importance of closing the ethnic pay gap.”


Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles and Ngā Kaupapa values including kotahitanga, rangatiratanga, kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga, and whakamana are also interwoven into the refreshed strategic goals.

PSA Vice President Māori Lesley Dixon says this reflects an awareness of the responsibility the union has to honour Te Tiriti.

“Māori are eight percent of the PSA membership and as Treaty partners there is an expectation that tikanga and Ngā Kaupapa will be understood and threaded throughout everything the PSA does,” she says.  

“The PSA is ultimately about relationships with people (whanaungatanga) and by following tikanga practices as set out in Ngā Kaupapa and applying Māori values into our strategic plan; we place emphasis on people, community, wellbeing, environmental awareness and social responsibility. Very Māori concepts.”


Many PSA members share a deep concern about climate change, which is also reflected in our refreshed strategic goals.

This can be seen in targets such as ensuring ‘we are a sustainable and decarbonised union’, and that ‘workplaces are leaders in decarbonisation’.

“Climate change is going to affect our society, the ways we work and the environment we live in. It’s important we walk the talk, and make sure we are not contributing to the problem,” Benedict says.

“Workplaces are major contributors to carbon emissions through travel, use of paper and resources. We will push for changes to reduce our impact on the planet through new ways of working.”

The strategic goals also demonstrate our commitment to ensuring a just transition for public and community service workers affected by climate and technology changes.

“These are aspirational goals but if we don’t set ourselves some big challenges we’ll never achieve them.”


While the PSA Executive Board has approved the refreshed strategic goals, work is now underway in our sectors and networks to consider how they can be integrated into their own work plans.

We’re also keen for members to tell us what they think, discuss the goals with their workmates, and come up with some solutions at a workplace level.

“The Board has set the goals, but we hope members also see them as your goals so we have the power of 80,000 members getting in behind,” Benedict says.