News in Brief

An interim offer for the DHB admin pay equity claim, new collective agreements in the Public Service, and a new leadership line-up for our union feature in our News in Brief.

As Working Life went to print the PSA and 20 DHBs had just concluded bargaining for an interim offer for the DHB administration and clerical workers equal pay claim.

Member meetings are being held in December to report back on the offer.

When the pay equity claim is finalised next year, it will be the first time these workers are covered by one national pay structure with consistent rates nationwide, says PSA national secretary Kerry Davies.

In the meantime there will be an interim lift in pay rates, with as much as $2,500 a year to be added to salaries. 

DHB admin workers and their supporters have been lobbying MPs and taking part in activities across the country to help get their claim over the line.


Two women now lead New Zealand's largest union following the appointment of Kerry Davies as one of the PSA's national secretaries.

Georgina with Nat Secs2 cropped resized

New PSA national secretary Kerry Davies, with retiring national secretary Glenn Barclay, PSA Kuia Georgina Kerr, and national secretary Erin Polaczuk

Kerry has been acting National secretary since late 2018, filling in for Erin Polaczuk while she was one maternity leave.

Kerry and Erin are now co-leading our union of 77,000 members, following the retirement of national secretary Glenn Barclay last month.

Kerry says she's honoured by the appointment and looks forward to continuing the progress the union has made.

"PSA members are campaigning hard to end the ethnic and gender pay gap, and alongside the wider union movement are speaking out on issues of inequality and injustice in our society.

“They are deeply committed to the work they do, and through our collective efforts we will make New Zealand a fairer and better place to live."

Kerry has worked for the PSA for the past 18 years and was an assistant secretary for six years.

Prior to her work at the PSA she undertook a variety of roles within the trade union movement nationally and internationally, including as an organiser, educator and researcher.


There have been a number of significant collective agreement signings in the Public Service in recent months.

DIA Stella cropped resized3A collective agreement for Department of International Affairs members has been signed off despite difficulties posed by Covid-19.

The first lockdown postponed negotiations in April, while the second lockdown in Auckland meant delegates there had to bargain via Zoom.

Some big gains were still achieved including a new pay system which provides pay increases for many members who had not had access to them due to the way the system was capped. Many of these workers were regarded as essential during the Covid Crisis.

There are new clauses allowing members to fulfill their responsibilites around tangi and other cultural events.

The signing was also an opportunity to farewell Stella Teariki, who has been a PSA DIA organiser for seven years.

 It was a sign of the high regard in which Stella is held that HR and staff were close to tears as they said their goodbyes.


PSA group croppedThe PSA celebrated an inaugural collective agreement with the new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development in October.

The Ministry was created in September 2018 to address the housing crisis.

Soon after its inception the union was consulted regarding members transferring to the new ministry from MSD and MBIE, and bargaining for a new collective agreement was initiated.

The agreement includes a member-only development fund of $10,000 per year, a 37.55 hour week, enhanced redundancy for MBIE members and new employees covered by the collective agreement, and 10 days domestic violence leave with no proof required.

We thank lead PSA delegate Toni Polkinghorne for her contribution to the negotiations.

Collective agreements have also recently been ratified at the Ministry of Justice and Community Corrections.


The PSA is set to launch a Member Advice and Support Centre next year.

The centre will be a one-stop shop for member enquiries, with organisers at the other end of the phone to resolve most of your queries, issues and concerns.

While initially this will be a phone-based service, it will be rolled out further to offer support online and other media.

If issues require legal advice or face-to-face contact they will be referred on, but members’ issues will generally be able to be resolved by the Member Advice and Support organisers.

Changes to our member database will mean information and documents will be kept in one place, and enable us to seamlessly transfer information to our legal team or other staff if further assistance is required.

When the new centre is launched you'll still be able to reach us on 0508367772.

We’ll keep you updated as these changes are introduced.


PSA Congress have signed off on a move to a fairer and more progressive fee structure.

From March 2021, the current three band fee structure is to be replaced by six bands. A newsletter will be sent out to delegates and members before Christmas providing more detail about the upcoming change.

The six bands will be implemented based on the revenue generated by our current fees, meaning there will be no increase in total revenue generated by membership fees as a result of this restructure.

An inflation-based fee increase that was due to come in next year is also being postponed until March 2022.

For more information about the review, visit


PSA member Betty Hauraki received a Lifetime Achievement Award at Te Kawa Mataaho’s Spirit of Service Awards last month.

SOSA 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award cropped2Nō Rongowhakaata, nō Ngāti Porou hoki, Betty has been instrumental in the revitalisation of Te Reo Māori.

The success of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is largely due to her passion and dedication.

For the last 20 years she has been at Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission, where her drive and ability to weave people together has helped turn a small community event into one of our biggest celebrations.

A number of government ministries and agencies were also honoured for their mahi at the Spirit of Service Awards.






Also in this issue:

Building Our Future

It was our biggest Congress ever, with more than 200 delegates gathering in Wellington to debate, network and make plans that will guide the future of our union.

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Welcome to our New President

We extend a warm welcome to Benedict Ferguson who has been elected as our new president by delegates at Congress 2020.

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What can we expect from the new Government?

With a new Government now in place it’s timely for the PSA to consider what we can expect, and what we would like to achieve in the next three years.

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"Our Māori membership stands proud"

Delegates at Hui Taumata came away feeling inspired and empowered to make a difference for their workmates and their people.

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"A Champion of the Vulnerable"

Allan Franks says he felt “privileged and a bit overwhelmed” to receive the Marlene Pitman Award at Hui Taumata, the PSA Māori Congress.

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Delivering on Equal Pay

The PSA is taking a two-track approach to delivering on pay equity - using the force of new law to settle claims and new guidance to end discrimination.

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Rebuilding a Spirit of Universalism

Thanks to all our members who supported the PSA’s Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment during the election campaign. We’ll be continuing this campaign for a commitment to universal basic services.

Here’s why writer and campaigner Max Harris believes universalism is so important.

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Unions Unite for Home Support

The wider union movement has thrown it’s support behind the They Deserve the Best Campaign for home support that gives dignity to our most vulnerable people.

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PSA members were among the winners in Te Kawa Mataaho's Public Service Day Awards this year.

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Bring On the Holidays!

After the most challenging of years, many of us are counting the days until we can take a well-deserved break.

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HealthCarePlus brings Bikes for Good

Christchurch kids and their bikes will benefit from a PSA HealthCarePlus Grant for Good.

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"It's an eye opener"

The two researchers delving into the findings of our Mana Wahine Treaty Claim survey shared their own experiences of discrimination with Working Life.

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Saving Livelihoods

The Covid-19 pandemic is estimated to have claimed the equivalent of 235 million jobs across the Asia Pacific region.

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"There is a fear of being open about who we are"

The right to work is a fundamental human right - but people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics (SOGIESC) continue to experience discrimination in workplaces which can sometimes force them to leave.

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Rostering for Wellbeing

Members at a mental health unit in Auckland are “stoked” about their new roster system.

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Out of Office

Writing a waiata fit for a Prime Minister might seem daunting.

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He Uiui Raumati

Nau mai ki tēnei Uiui Raumati - Summer Quiz

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Around & About

Pink is the theme for our photo pages this issue thanks to the anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day and the DHB admin pay equity claim Pink Tuesdays.

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The Last Word

Retiring national secretary Glenn Barclay looks back on a time of growth and change at the helm of New Zealand’s largest union

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