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

In October I was fortunate to attend the Council of Trade Unions Conference along with other members of the PSA delegation.

Read the full post

Obituary: Lynn Middleton

PSA members and staff are deeply saddened by the recent and sudden death on November 13 of former PSA national secretary Lynn Middleton.

Read the full post

Working for Free

For Pasefika women the statistics are even more damning – they’ve been working for free since September 29 due to a 25.5% pay gap. The pay gap is almost as dire for wāhine Māori – a 22.1% pay gap left them working for free since October 12.

Read the full post

Kindly leading the way to Equal Pay

For Pasefika women the statistics are even more damning – they’ve been working for free since September 29 due to a 25.5% pay gap.

Read the full post

Stand Up for Library Workers

At the launch delegate Chantalle Smith spoke of how research for their equal pay claim had found the skills required to do their job could be broken down into 22 separate categories.

Read the full post

Mana Wahine: ‘Our passion is perceived as a threat'

A survey of wāhine Māori in the PSA has drawn a fantastic response - with more than 900 members taking the time to tell us about their employment experiences.

Read the full post

Stark statistics help fight for equal pay and transparency

Your salaries generally reflect the gender and ethnic pay gaps seen in the wider workforce with Pākeha men well out in front of other groups.

Read the full post

Honours for workers on frontline

The inaugural Public Service Day – Te Rā Kāwanatanga was held last year so this is the second year the awards have been handed out.

Read the full post

PSAY Hui Inspires Success

After joining the PSA earlier this year, the DOC worker decided to attend the PSAY Hui in August.

Read the full post

Pasefika Voices on Climate Strike

The PSA proudly supported the School Strike for Climate in September. For some of our Pasefika members the effects of climate change are already hitting home. They tell us why they took part in the rally on Parliament.

Read the full post

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

Their role is to organise and advocate for Māori members in their sectors. They also represent their sectors on Te Kōmiti o Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Awhina and on sector committees.

Read the full post

Reducing Māori Health Inequities

The convenor of Te Tira Hauora Kōmiti, a committee of Māori delegates across the DHB sector, presented their submission to the inquiry in November.

Read the full post

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

Staff from the Ministry’s policy teams have attended UN indigenous rights forums in Geneva and New York.

Read the full post

100 Years On - Labour is still not a Commodity

Its constitution still strikes a chord for those of us fighting for workers' rights:

Read the full post

Your voice, our system

The forums will focus on mental health & addiction services, Māori health inequities, and disability services.

Read the full post

Fearsome fighter

That’s because when she’s not involved in a tough round of negotiations, or doing her day job as a forensic technician, Kelly is likely to be found in the Muay Thai kickboxing ring.

Read the full post

A lifetime of discovery

As a curator of the hugely popular Awesome Forces exhibition at Te Papa Museum, and co-presenter of TV show, Coast New Zealand, he has also helped bring science to a wider audience.

Read the full post

Unity in Diversity

In the workplace union members seek to be visible, vocal and valued but for some workers being visible is a risk - not a right they are afforded.

Read the full post