New CTU Secretary Looks to the Future


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.

“I had completed a conjoint arts and law degree so the position tapped into my passion for drama and the arts as well as my knowledge of employment law and policy,” the 31 year-old recalls.

Melissa went on to become Equity NZ director and as part of the film industry working group argued  for a collective bargaining system for screen industry contractors.  

The Government agreed to the group’s recommendations last year and legislation has been introduced.

“The structure proposed will create industry standards, minimum pay and conditions, and enable bargaining. It will be a game changer.”

CONTRACTOR PROTECTIONS

Melissa is also passionate about improving protections for all contractors and welcomes the Government’s current consultation process on the issue.

She says clarity about who should be an employee, and enabling collective bargaining for contractors are crucial.

Melissa praises the PSA for changing its rules to allow contractors to become members.

“It’s fantastic. As unions we have a responsibility for all working people,” she says.

“And if there is nothing protecting contractors it incentivises businesses to hire them. So it’s important for all workers that we protect their conditions too.”

MORE TO DO

Melissa is also committed to the CTU’s work to achieve pay equity and will be taking a leading role in its election planning.

She says there have been huge gains for workers under a progressive Labour-led Government and it’s important that work continues to ensure more improvements like contractor protections and fair pay agreements become a reality.

The CTU will be releasing election asks this year on issues including industrial reform, health and safety and equality.

Melissa is keen to activate grass roots support through Unions Local and to reach out to members on social media.

 “It’s where our members are so it makes sense for us to be there too.”

NEXT GENERATION

Melissa says digital media is also key to reaching the next generation of workers

“We have to make sure the union movement is relevant to people of my age who’ve grown up in an era where unions were less visible as a result of the Employment Contracts Act.

“Young people have shown their appetite for activism. They’ve  taken a lead in protesting against climate change. It’s important to make unions relevant for them because they’re a huge force for change”.

We’ll have more on the work of the CTU in future issues. 

Also in this issue:


‘We thank you for your brave stand’

As forty or so people gathered in the blazing Wairarapa sun, only two had ever joined a protest before in their lives. Within twenty minutes, they were leading their own chants and you could hear them for miles.

Read the full post

“Remember the loss but also remember the hope”

PSA delegate Benjamin Gresham says the Christchurch Invitation is a call to spread peace, reconnect, and feed the hungry - which draws on the teachings of the Muslim tradition.

Read the full post

Leading the charge on contractor rights

The PSA made a change to its rules in 2018 by enabling contractors and labour hire workers to become members.

Read the full post

Make it Real

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.

Read the full post

Mana Wahine Claim goes to Waitangi

The stall gave us an opportunity to kōrero kanohi ki te kanohi with the wider community about the kaupapa of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina’s Waitangi Tribunal claim.

Read the full post

Opportunities and issues with new bill

The PSA welcomes most aspects of the bill - but there are issues it does not address and we drew these to the attention of the select committee.

Read the full post

"We have come too far to not go further"

The Public Service in its current form is failing Māori. This is abundantly clear as Māori are over-represented in all negative social statistics. We need a public service that delivers for Māori.

Read the full post

We Count

More than 30% of lesbian, gay and bisexual public service workers who responded to the State Service Commission’s We Count Survey last year reported being uncomfortable being open or out at work.

Read the full post

The PSA’s greatest victory?

On 29 March 1974 more than 600 uniformed school dental nurses proceeded silently down Wellington’s Lambton Quay. It was, as one observer noted, “almost certainly the largest demonstration of women since the days of the suffragettes”.

Read the full post

Maranga Mai

The guiding purpose of Maranga mai o ngā whakangungu ā rohe is to enable Māori delegates to use their perspective and experience to advocate for Te Tiriti o Waitangi in their workplaces.

Read the full post

Pacific organisers speak of challenges and triumphs

The organisers from Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Australia, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands were attending the International Trade Union Confederation-Asia Pacific workshop in Nadi in November.

Read the full post

Climate Talk

Tried talking to your Dad about the bushfires in Australia only to discover he’s a climate change denier?

Read the full post

Holiday Home Snaps

The snaps from holiday home stays around the country show just how much fun and relaxation our PSA accommodation has to offer .

Read the full post

The Marlene Pitman Award

This award was originally created in honour of Marlene Pitman, who passed away on 16th January 2010, to recognise her membership and service of 25 years. As an activist at Child Youth and Family, she was convenor of the Social Services sector committee and an executive board member for 2 years, a delegate for 23 years and a hardworking member of Te Komiti o Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina.

Read the full post

Radio NZ

A groundswell of public and political opposition to that plan soon led to a backdown from the RNZ Board and management.

Read the full post

Book Review: Pay Packets and Stone Walls

At the beginning of her memoir Elizabeth Orr pledges to tell the truth about the fight for pay equity for women, her reasoning being that it has lessons for the future.

Read the full post

Leading the Way

“As a child I thought everyone had a Mum and Dad who cared about them,” says the Ngāti Kahungunu wahine who grew up in a loving whānau environment.

Read the full post

On the Job

“I can help with mental and physical health problems. I want to provide a service where they don’t need to see lots of people.

Read the full post

Te Reo o te Tari

*Good morning.* Mōrena/Ata mārie. *Welcome to (workplace).* Nau mai ki . *Are you busy?* He nui ō mahi? *I am very busy!* He tino nui aku mahi! *No. I am not very busy. Kāo.* Kāore i nui aku mahi. Kei te aha koe? *What are you doing? *Kei te tuhituhi au. *I am writing. *Kei te mahi au.* I am working.*

Read the full post