Fair Pay Agreements will give workers a fairer deal

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.

That’s why we’ve made a submission on the Government’s new discussion document on FPAs and have been encouraging members to make sure their voices are heard.

This Government has stated its commitment to improving the well-being of all New Zealanders.

Economic studies commissioned by the Council of Trade Unions have found a return to sector bargaining in the form of FPAs is the most effective thing it could do to achieve that.


Too many New Zealanders endure poor working conditions in jobs that don’t pay enough and offer few opportunities for career progression.

FPAs will set minimum employment standards that will apply to all workers in an industry.

In January a working group led by former Prime Minister Jim Bolger recommended bargaining for FPAs should begin when called for by 1000 workers or 10% of workers in an industry.

Employers, government and unions would then negotiate terms covering every workplace within that industry, regardless of whether workers are union members or not.

They would also work together to develop industry-wide strategies for training and workforce development.


Low wages and insecure conditions are the norm for cleaners, security guards and supermarket workers, so these are the first groups proposed to be covered by FPAs.

Some of these workers have organised to win improved pay and conditions, but the companies they work for must then compete for contracts with non-unionised companies.

By establishing consistent standards for pay, breaks, hours and safety practices, FPAs will prevent unscrupulous employers from undercutting employers that treat workers better.

Unions have limited resources, and having to fight the same battles company by company, makes it hard to protect the pay and conditions of workers.

Fair Pay Agreements will ensure no worker is left behind.


The first areas where FPAs will be trialled are in the private sector, but these laws will benefit all workers.

FPAs are proposed to apply to contractors as well as permanent employees. 

Everyone deserves equal pay for equal work, and public sector employers have for too long used contractors and temping agencies to try and undermine our collective agreements.

It is a priority of our union to end this situation.


PSA delegation at CTU conference

Also in this issue:

President's Message

Tēnā koutou e te whānau

Read More

Obituary: Lynn Middleton

PSA’s first female national secretary and equal pay leader

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Honours for workers on frontline

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

Read More

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.

Read More

Pasefika Voices on Climate Strike

“We must change our practices of ignorance and neglect”

Read More

“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.

Read More

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.

Read More

‘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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Unity in Diversity

Out@PSA is getting active at Pride celebrations and beyond

Read More