President's Message

President's Message

Tēnā koutou e te whānau

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

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The address by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was a time to take stock of all the great things that have been accomplished in the last two years.

These include strengthening union rights, restoring proper breaks for workers, the raising of the minimum wage, the extension of paid parental leave, and progress on equal pay claims.

The Prime Minister’s speech along with a recent Facebook post highlighting this Government’s achievements are reflected in the positive comments I hear when I travel around the country.

So let’s shake off the negativity that’s being spun by some. Let’s celebrate what’s been achieved and look ahead to what’s still to do.


Top of that to do list are fair pay agreements which would give better pay and protections to some of our most vulnerable workers. In the last month we’ve been rallying members to respond to a Government discussion document on FPAs.

I’ve been encouraging our lowest paid members to tell people how it is for you. We need to stop those employers who look to exploit them as cheap labour by setting minimum industry standards through fair pay agreements.

So let’s be loud and clear that we aren’t up for negotiation on this important issue!


On November 18 the PSA and other unions marked the date that all New Zealand women began working for free until the end of the year.

I have also been thinking about our Pasefika sisters who have been working for free since the end of September, and our wāhine Māori who have been working for free since October 12. Let’s hope that by this time next year those dates will be closer to Christmas!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our members and staff who ran in the local body and DHB elections in October. It takes guts to stand up for what you believe in so I salute all your efforts.


Congratulations also to all our members whose hard work and dedication has been recognised in the Public Service Day and Spirit of Service Awards in the last few months. Finally I’d like to thank delegates and staff for the huge year we’ve had and the gains we’ve made as a union which now numbers 75,000 members.

I wish you all a safe and happy festive season and hope you get to enjoy a well-deserved break with your families.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa
Janet Quigley – President, PSA

Presidents Message5

Wellington Women's Network Hub hosts Nia Bartley, Chantelle Smith, and Mari North are at the forefront of the PSA's fight to make Working for Free dates a thing of the past.

Also in this issue:

Obituary: Lynn Middleton

PSA’s first female national secretary and equal pay leader

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Working for Free

From November 18 New Zealand women effectively began working for free until the end of the year because of the 11.9% pay gap between men and women.

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Kindly leading the way to Equal Pay

As women began working for free in New Zealand on November 18, the PSA was working hard on a number of fronts to close the gender pay gap.

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Stand Up for Library Workers

Local government library assistants launched a campaign on November 22 to raise awareness of their equal pay claim and the work they do.

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Stark statistics help fight for equal pay and transparency

More than a third of PSA members or 27,291 of you shared your pay information with us in our first union-wide pay survey in September.

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CTU Conference: “We are delivering, but we have so much more to deliver”

The CTU Biennial conference in October was an opportunity to reflect on the significant gains made for working people during the Government’s first two years in power - and to challenge it to go further.

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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.

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Honours for workers on frontline

PSA members were to the fore as the Public Service Day awards
were announced in November.

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PSAY Hui Inspires Success

Inspirational speeches at this year’s PSA Youth Hui have propelled Elvisa Van Der Leden into a seat at the council table.

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Pasefika Voices on Climate Strike

“We must change our practices of ignorance and neglect”

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

There’s a mix of old and new amongst the Sector Māngai elected at Public Sector, DHB and Combined sector hui in August and September.

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Reducing Māori Health Inequities

Appearing before the Māori Affairs Select Committee to speak to the Inquiry into Health Inequities for Māori was “awe-inspiring” for Allan Franks.

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

From small town Aotearoa to the United Nations – it’s been a big year for one PSA member from Te Puni Kokiri.

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100 Years On - Labour is still not a Commodity

The 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organisation this year is a timely reminder of its continued relevance.

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Your voice, our system

The PSA is hosting regional and online health forums in December to give members another opportunity to have their say in the reshaping of services.

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Fearsome fighter

PSA delegate Kelly Broerse says her colleagues at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) in Auckland are used to her showing up at work with black eyes and bruises.

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A lifetime of discovery

Geologist, science communicator and PSA member Hamish Campbell can look back on forty years of “exploration, adventure and discovery” as he retires this year.

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Unity in Diversity

Out@PSA is getting active at Pride celebrations and beyond

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