CTU Conference: “We are delivering, but we have so much more to deliver”

CTU Conference: “We are delivering, but we have so much more to deliver”

The CTU Biennial conference in October was an opportunity to reflect on the significant gains made for working people during the Government’s first two years in power - and to challenge it to go further.

Richard Jacinda2

Richard Wagstaff and Jacinda Ardern

In her speech to the conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke of her Government’s achievements.

They include the lowest rate of unemployment in 11 years and the creation of 92,000 new jobs.

In April this year a $1.20 increase to the minimum wage put the Government on track to meet its goal of lifting the minimum to $20 an hour by 2021.

“With more jobs and better wages we’re seeing real improvement in New Zealanders’ wallets,” the Prime Minister said.


Jacinda Ardern also highlighted measures including restoring the right to reasonable meal and rest breaks, extending paid parental leave to six months, and introducing domestic violence leave to support those escaping it.

She said the Government had made changes to the Employment Relations Act to “give voice to the greatest asset we have, our workforce and our people”. The changes make it easier for workers to know about and join their union, and strengthen collective bargaining and union rights.

Other gains include the largest pay increases in a decade for nurses and teachers, along with significant investment in the mental health workforce.

On the equal pay front a claim for Oranga Tamariki social workers has seen them gain pay increases of up to 30%, while the care and support settlement was extended to mental health and addiction workers.


The Prime Minister acknowledged the frustration of those who believe the Government should be doing more, faster.

She said work is continuing to update pay equity legislation and to progress equal pay claims, and that Fair Pay Agreements are “part of the longer term solution for those ... in the low wage economy”.

But she said challenges caused by years of neglect under National require more than a quick fix.

“We need to stay in Government long enough to ensure these policies stick and prove their worth... We are delivering, but we have so much more to deliver.”

Also in this issue:

President's Message

Tēnā koutou e te whānau

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Obituary: Lynn Middleton

PSA’s first female national secretary and equal pay leader

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Working for Free

From November 18 New Zealand women effectively began working for free until the end of the year because of the 11.9% pay gap between men and women.

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Kindly leading the way to Equal Pay

As women began working for free in New Zealand on November 18, the PSA was working hard on a number of fronts to close the gender pay gap.

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Stand Up for Library Workers

Local government library assistants launched a campaign on November 22 to raise awareness of their equal pay claim and the work they do.

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Stark statistics help fight for equal pay and transparency

More than a third of PSA members or 27,291 of you shared your pay information with us in our first union-wide pay survey in September.

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Fair Pay Agreements will give workers a fairer deal

The PSA and other unions believe Fair Pay Agreements will offer a fairer deal for many of this country’s most vulnerable workers.

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Honours for workers on frontline

PSA members were to the fore as the Public Service Day awards
were announced in November.

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PSAY Hui Inspires Success

Inspirational speeches at this year’s PSA Youth Hui have propelled Elvisa Van Der Leden into a seat at the council table.

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Pasefika Voices on Climate Strike

“We must change our practices of ignorance and neglect”

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“It opens their eyes”: Sector Māngai elected at Hui

There’s a mix of old and new amongst the Sector Māngai elected at Public Sector, DHB and Combined sector hui in August and September.

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Reducing Māori Health Inequities

Appearing before the Māori Affairs Select Committee to speak to the Inquiry into Health Inequities for Māori was “awe-inspiring” for Allan Franks.

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‘It’s important to have Māori and female voices at the table’

From small town Aotearoa to the United Nations – it’s been a big year for one PSA member from Te Puni Kokiri.

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100 Years On - Labour is still not a Commodity

The 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organisation this year is a timely reminder of its continued relevance.

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Your voice, our system

The PSA is hosting regional and online health forums in December to give members another opportunity to have their say in the reshaping of services.

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Fearsome fighter

PSA delegate Kelly Broerse says her colleagues at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) in Auckland are used to her showing up at work with black eyes and bruises.

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A lifetime of discovery

Geologist, science communicator and PSA member Hamish Campbell can look back on forty years of “exploration, adventure and discovery” as he retires this year.

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Unity in Diversity

Out@PSA is getting active at Pride celebrations and beyond

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