CTU Forum Rory ERO CopyERO delegate Rory Sudfelt was one of hundreds of union members who turned out for the CTU-Government Forum in Wellington in August.

The gathering at Parliament gave union members the opportunity to take part in free and frank kōrero with senior government ministers and the Prime Minister herself. Topics addressed ranged from how to protect health workers and staff from violence at work, to the rejuvenation of NZ coastal shipping.

A forum in Dunedin in September also covered a range of issues from health staff shortages to the need to raise benefit levels, the cost of living, housing, and the right to strike. A contingent of about 40 PSA members were among the 140 union members who turned out to meet with Jacinda Ardern, ministers Grant Robertson, David Clark, Chris Hipkins,

Iain Lees-Galloway, Green MP Jan Logie and CTU representatives.

Future forums are planned for Auckland on November 26 and Christchurch (TBC)



Access Community Health coordinators, administrators and call centre workers have reached a short term agreement with their employer until April 2020.

About 100 workers from the PSA and E tū took industrial action in May and June as they sought a fairer pay deal.

The workers coordinate home support for more than 21,000 clients. Some highlights of the deal were an improved pay offer, an extra sick day and a one-off payment for union members, and joint management and union delegate meetings.



Delegates in Christchurch are continuing to meet monthly to discuss issues arising for members from the March 15 terror attacks.

Members continue to report feeling extremely fatigued and stressed in the wake of the attacks.

For some who were not directly involved, it has been “a last straw” on top of the stress experienced post-earthquakes.

There are concerns about the effect this could have on staff turnover, as some people have sought to move out of more stressful roles in their organisations.

Some agencies directly involved in the response to the attacks are experiencing ongoing pressure on resources. Members are encouraged to reach out to delegates and organisers if they are under too much pressure.

Some members still report having safety concerns regarding walking home or to their car after dark, particularly in the central city, or being alone in buildings. The delegates are also discussing how they can contribute to wider PSA efforts to stand against racism and in support of a more inclusive Aotearoa.



The PSA welcomes the government’s commitment to education reform, but says there are widespread concerns about job security during such a significant restructure.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced a set of major changes to how polytechnics and Industry Training Organisations operate in New Zealand.

“We want to live in a country where learning is a lifelong process for everyone, with a particular emphasis on supporting workplace training. The government’s reforms appear to share this goal,” says national secretary Kerry Davies.

“Workers in polytechnics and ITOs have a wealth of knowledge to share, and they will commit to engaging with change if their job security is guaranteed.”




The 80s theme night was a hit at this year’s PSAY Hui in Wellington last month. New PSAY convenors were also elected. The national convenors are Megan Barry and Gabriel Paikea. Other convenors are Hine-A-Rangi Savieti (Auckland), Jeremy Tocker and Ben Hoeberechts (North Island), Ulualo Mareko (Wellington), Heidi Becker (Christchurch), and Rhiannon Mclean (South Island).



tewikiEarlier this month Aotearoa celebrated Māori Language Week.

At Working Life we also want to tautoko te reo and Te Maihi Karauna, the Crown’s Māori Language Strategy.

So check out this issue’s Te Reo o Te Tari column, which has tips to kōrero on the waea (phone) pg.27.



PSA Public Sector and DHB Sector Hui were held at Orongomai Marae in Lower Hutt in August.

A Combined Sector Hui is being held in September. We’ll have a wrap-up of the hui and the election of Sector Mangai in the next issue of the journal.



It’s an institution that’s been going strong since 1914 and now we’ve got plans to bring the PSA Journal Working Life into the digital era.

We’re responding to the results of a communications survey earlier this year that found 38% of you would prefer to receive Working Life via email and 25% would prefer to read it online.

We also share your concerns about the environmental impact of too many paper copies being distributed to offices.

So we intend to make more journal stories more easily accessible on our website , on email and on social media, while from next year we’ll gradually reduce the number of copies we print.

That means you’ll be able to get the latest from the PSA on a wider variety of platforms, while still being able to enjoy a leisurely read of the printed journal if you choose.

Watch this space for further updates on our progress.

Also in this issue:

Vote 2019 NZ!

Supporting local democracy

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Think Global, Act Local Government

You may ask if it really matters who you vote for in your town or district when the world faces huge challenges like climate change and rising sea levels.
But those who work in local government say the decisions made by councils can make a "massive" difference.

Read More

Vote for healthy communities

While the work of district health board members often goes unseen, they help make critical decisions about the health services you and your whānau receive in your communities.

Read More

Let's Bring This Home

Hopes were high that the working lives of home support workers would be transformed by their historic pay equity settlement and the introduction of guaranteed hours and travel time payments.

Read More

Te Ao Tūmatanui: Strengthening the Māori Crown relationship

A key component of the new Public Service Act is the inclusion of a section on the Crown’s relationship with Māori and Te Tiriti.
Working Life asked State Services minister Chris Hipkins how he is going to measure the success of the new look partnership.

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Ask the Minister

As the Government drafts the new legislation to transform the public service, we ask Minister Hipkins how it will affect your working lives:

Read More

Equal pay for all

As we celebrate the success of our sisters in securing voting rights 126 years ago, the PSA is leading the struggle for pay equality.

Read More

Suffrage Day: ‘Our members are worth 100% and shouldn’t have to rattle buckets to get it’

Jacqueline Aberdein-Tapuai is a qualified and registered social worker with a Master’s degree - but the mum of four teenagers struggles from pay check to pay check.

Read More

Mind the gap! Taking action on gender pay

While the latest statistics show how persistent the gender pay gap remains, our efforts are starting to produce some real gains for women.

Read More