Opportunities and issues with new bill


Opportunities and issues with new bill

We’ve been making our voices heard on the new Public Service Legislation Bill with submissions from the PSA, Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, network and delegate committees and individual members.

The PSA welcomes most aspects of the bill - but there are issues it does not address and we drew these to the attention of the select committee.

We would like the legislation to include a commitment to meeting the Gender Pay Principles, which give guidance for eliminating gender pay gaps and other inequalities in the workplace.

These principles are already making a difference in the public service and we believe it would be an important step to enshrine them in law.

EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIPS

We are also disappointed the new bill fails to get to the heart of problems caused by old State Sector Act’s establishment of the employment relationship at the agency level.

This has worked against system-level workforce management and mobility, and weakened the spirit of service and public service identity.

We want the State Services Commission to be the employer of all public service staff but made recommendations to strengthen cross agency employment relations.

GOOD EMPLOYER PROVISIONS

The good employer provisions in the old legislation are untouched by this bill, despite having largely failed to achieve the change intended.

They should be strengthened to eliminate discrimination, and support the spirit of service and fair and equitable employment.

We welcome the long overdue affirmation of public servants’ civil rights but there needs to be guidance to uphold them.

The workforce provisions in the new Act should cover everyone involved in delivering public services.  Chief executives should not be able to contract out of the good employer requirements. 

Developing a capable public service workforcerequires strong relationships with the people working in those services and their unions. This should be recognised in the new Act.

Craig Paula and Kirsten2

(L-R) Craig Hall, Paula Davis, & Kirsten Windelov

A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE

Christchurch MBIE delegate Craig Hall gave a valuable insight into the bill’s proposals to enable more ‘joined up’ responses to specific events or issues in his personal submission:

I am from Christchurch which has had significant events including earthquakes, floods, fire and the horrific shootings last year.

These have required joined up responses from multiple agencies often through a lead agency in the initial stages and then through the creation of a new agency such as the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

The provisions in this bill are more flexible and timely than waiting for a new agency.

They also provide more certainty for employees as they can be directly employed by the inter-agency venture.

Being able to set up a ‘one stop shop’ is invaluable, and being able to work regionally where it makes sense has clear benefits for the public and the Public Service.

Also in this issue:


Maranga Mai

The guiding purpose of Maranga mai o ngā whakangungu ā rohe is to enable Māori delegates to use their perspective and experience to advocate for Te Tiriti o Waitangi in their workplaces.

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"We have come too far to not go further"

The Public Service in its current form is failing Māori. This is abundantly clear as Māori are over-represented in all negative social statistics. We need a public service that delivers for Māori.

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“Remember the loss but also remember the hope”

PSA delegate Benjamin Gresham says the Christchurch Invitation is a call to spread peace, reconnect, and feed the hungry - which draws on the teachings of the Muslim tradition.

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‘We thank you for your brave stand’

As forty or so people gathered in the blazing Wairarapa sun, only two had ever joined a protest before in their lives. Within twenty minutes, they were leading their own chants and you could hear them for miles.

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Leading the charge on contractor rights

The PSA made a change to its rules in 2018 by enabling contractors and labour hire workers to become members.

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Make it Real

Their work often goes unnoticed - but they’re the ones that keep organisations running smoothly, the ones you turn to when things go wrong, the ones that are first to greet the public.

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The PSA’s greatest victory?

On 29 March 1974 more than 600 uniformed school dental nurses proceeded silently down Wellington’s Lambton Quay. It was, as one observer noted, “almost certainly the largest demonstration of women since the days of the suffragettes”.

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We Count

More than 30% of lesbian, gay and bisexual public service workers who responded to the State Service Commission’s We Count Survey last year reported being uncomfortable being open or out at work.

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Pacific organisers speak of challenges and triumphs

The organisers from Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Australia, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands were attending the International Trade Union Confederation-Asia Pacific workshop in Nadi in November.

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Holiday Home Snaps

The snaps from holiday home stays around the country show just how much fun and relaxation our PSA accommodation has to offer .

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Climate Talk

Tried talking to your Dad about the bushfires in Australia only to discover he’s a climate change denier?

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Leading the Way

“As a child I thought everyone had a Mum and Dad who cared about them,” says the Ngāti Kahungunu wahine who grew up in a loving whānau environment.

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On the Job

“I can help with mental and physical health problems. I want to provide a service where they don’t need to see lots of people.

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Te Reo o te Tari

*Good morning.* Mōrena/Ata mārie. *Welcome to (workplace).* Nau mai ki . *Are you busy?* He nui ō mahi? *I am very busy!* He tino nui aku mahi! *No. I am not very busy. Kāo.* Kāore i nui aku mahi. Kei te aha koe? *What are you doing? *Kei te tuhituhi au. *I am writing. *Kei te mahi au.* I am working.*

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New CTU Secretary Looks to the Future

“I had completed a conjoint arts and law degree so the position tapped into my passion for drama and the arts as well as my knowledge of employment law and policy,” the 31 year-old recalls.

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Mana Wahine Claim goes to Waitangi

The stall gave us an opportunity to kōrero kanohi ki te kanohi with the wider community about the kaupapa of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina’s Waitangi Tribunal claim.

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