Tēnā tātou katoa
It is with mixed feelings that I sit down to write my last message to you all as PSA President.
It’s been an amazing four years for me, which will come to a close with the election of a new president at Congress in November.
As President, I’ve met so many fantastic members and delegates and been so proud to hear you making your voices heard in select committees and other forums.
It’s made a huge difference to the passing of legislation such as the Equal Pay Amendment Act and the Public Service Act.
I am also heartened that in my time as President our membership has grown from 62,000 in September 2016 to more than 76,000 today. Even in these unsettling times we are still growing as more and more people join our union whānau.
I am pleased too by the growth of our PSA networks. We are more than just an industrial organisation. We are a union that caters to the diverse needs of our members.
I thank all the union friends and colleagues I have worked with over the last four years including PSA vice presidents Peter Robertshaw and Benedict Ferguson, and other members of the Executive Board and staff. Your support has been amazing.
I also want to acknowledge the awhi of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, including Kuia Georgina Kerr and Kaumatua Kiwhare Mihaka who have helped me on my journey to improve my knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori.
I am going to miss you all, but I am also looking forward to spending more time with friends and family.
TIME FOR SOLIDARITY
As I prepare to say good bye I am aware of the challenging times we are facing. It is important that we continue to stand together in solidarity.
Let’s show our support for our members that may be fearful for their jobs, members who may still be working on the COVID frontline without adequate PPE or sick leave, and our members who are doing their best to keep us safe at the border. We are all in this together.
Let’s also support our campaign for the Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment at election time. It’s a campaign for universal and free public services which will ensure that no one is left behind as we rebuild a New Normal from the Covid Crisis.
Finally, let’s keep pursuing our union goals of equal pay, stronger public and community services, transformed work and being a strong, modern and influential union to ensure all New Zealanders have access to equitable and well-funded services and the state becomes an exemplar employer.
Haere ora, Haere pai
PSA Pasefika union members have been voicing their support for the Pasefika community during the latest Covid outbreak.