Make it Real

Thousands of admin workers in the Public Service are asking to be paid what they’re worth with the launch of their pay equity claim.

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.


Jo-Anne Stroman,
Oranga Tamariki workplace administrator, PSA member, Porirua

Jo Anne Stroman

I support caregiver social workers. I do systems checks on caregiver applications, police vetting, background investigating. If I see something needs flagging I will bring it to their attention.

I’m the first port of call for inquiries so I need to be knowledgeable. I host morning teas for caregivers. I’m a ‘counsellor’ to other staff when they come to me with their woes.

You need a level of maturity and I have years of experience working for MSD and CYF previously. But that does not show in my pay packet. I thought about taking a second job at one stage.

I love being an admin but I haven’t been able to save much so I fear I’ll have a tough retirement.


Jessi Abrams,
MSD customer service rep, Work and Income Christchurch contact centre, PSA National Delegate Convenor for MSD Contact Centre Services

Jessi Abrams

I answer phone calls from clients. They are living from benefit to benefit. They can be stressed, upset, angry. They want help right away.

It’s challenging if you have a queue of four or five hundred people but you want them to feel they are being heard. It’s rewarding if you can help them and their whānau.

You need to know everything about policy, services we offer and where to refer people, and technical skills to work the system. But you also need soft skills, you need empathy.

It’s a female dominated industry as most call centres are and that affects pay rates. 


Adrienne Dunford,
ERO administration officer, PSA delegate, Napier

Adrienne Dunford Copy

I support review officers and ensure their reports on schools and early learning services are processed on time and to the highest standard.

There’s a lot of multitasking and problem solving. I process reports, help ensure travel and accommodation is booked, organise fleet car maintenance, help with IT issues, maintain databases, and liaise with the public.

All these little things add up and make the review officers’ jobs easier. Without admin staff, organisations would lose productivity.

Before I took time out to raise a family, I worked as a defence force payroll administration clerk for 10 years. This was never reflected in my salary. Lack of recognition for previous experience is a common problem for admin workers.

Also in this issue:

‘We thank you for your brave stand’

PSA members and local communities joined forces in February to protest restructuring that threatened hundreds of jobs and quality client care.

While the restructuring by HealthCare NZ is now set to go ahead the protests have thrown a spotlight on issues besetting the home care and support sector.

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“Remember the loss but also remember the hope”

As we mark the anniversary of the Christchurch attacks the PSA has added its voice to a call for peace from the city’s Muslim community.

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Leading the charge on contractor rights

Our union is leading the charge to strengthen rights for contractors and labour hire workers in public and community services.

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Mana Wahine Claim goes to Waitangi

The Mana Wahine team was up before dawn on Waitangi Day erecting our stall at the famous Treaty Grounds.

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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.

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"We have come too far to not go further"

‘Tawhiti rawa i tō tatou haerenga atu te kore haere tonu’ - Sir James Henare

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We Count

The results of a survey of rainbow public servants suggest a significant proportion still don’t feel comfortable being out in their workplaces.

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The PSA’s greatest victory?

Former PSA staffer Noel O’Hare explains why he wrote Tooth & Veil, a history of school dental nurses and the day they stormed the corridors of power.

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Maranga Mai

A groundbreaking course is empowering Māori delegates and contributing to a surge in Māori membership across the PSA.

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Pacific organisers speak of challenges and triumphs

Union organisers from the Pacific have spoken about the challenges some face while trying to improve conditions for workers in their countries.

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Climate Talk

Nā Alex Johnston, Oxfam New Zealand campaigns coordinator and PSA EcoNetwork member

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Holiday Home Snaps

Thanks to all our members who entered our PSA Holiday Home Photo Competition over the summer.

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The Marlene Pitman Award

Nominations are now being sought for the Marlene Pitman award.

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Radio NZ

In early February, RNZ announced its new music strategy which included a proposal to axe over 18 of our members’ jobs and move the station to AM radio.

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New CTU Secretary Looks to the Future

The new CTU Secretary Melissa Ansell-Bridges was drawn to the union movement when a job as industrial officer and organiser at Equity New Zealand caught her attention.

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Leading the Way

PSA member Pam Maha had never been fully aware of family violence before she joined the Ministry of Justice twenty years ago.

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On the Job

As the first Pasefika person to become a mental health nurse practitioner, Makoni Havea is determined to make a difference for her community.

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Te Reo o te Tari

Why not try out some of these simple phrases in the workplace?

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President's Message March 2020

He waka eke noa – We are all in this together

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