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 members and staff are deeply saddened by the recent and sudden death on November 13 of former PSA national secretary Lynn Middleton.

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Working for Free

For Pasefika women the statistics are even more damning – they’ve been working for free since September 29 due to a 25.5% pay gap. The pay gap is almost as dire for wāhine Māori – a 22.1% pay gap left them working for free since October 12.

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Kindly leading the way to Equal Pay

For Pasefika women the statistics are even more damning – they’ve been working for free since September 29 due to a 25.5% pay gap.

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Stand Up for Library Workers

At the launch delegate Chantalle Smith spoke of how research for their equal pay claim had found the skills required to do their job could be broken down into 22 separate categories.

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Mana Wahine: ‘Our passion is perceived as a threat'

A survey of wāhine Māori in the PSA has drawn a fantastic response - with more than 900 members taking the time to tell us about their employment experiences.

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Stark statistics help fight for equal pay and transparency

Your salaries generally reflect the gender and ethnic pay gaps seen in the wider workforce with Pākeha men well out in front of other groups.

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Fair Pay Agreements will give workers a fairer deal

That’s why we’ve made a submission on the Government’s new discussion document on FPAs and have been encouraging members to make sure their voices are heard.

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Honours for workers on frontline

The inaugural Public Service Day – Te Rā Kāwanatanga was held last year so this is the second year the awards have been handed out.

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PSAY Hui Inspires Success

After joining the PSA earlier this year, the DOC worker decided to attend the PSAY Hui in August.

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Pasefika Voices on Climate Strike

The PSA proudly supported the School Strike for Climate in September. For some of our Pasefika members the effects of climate change are already hitting home. They tell us why they took part in the rally on Parliament.

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

Their role is to organise and advocate for Māori members in their sectors. They also represent their sectors on Te Kōmiti o Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Awhina and on sector committees.

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Reducing Māori Health Inequities

The convenor of Te Tira Hauora Kōmiti, a committee of Māori delegates across the DHB sector, presented their submission to the inquiry in November.

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

Staff from the Ministry’s policy teams have attended UN indigenous rights forums in Geneva and New York.

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100 Years On - Labour is still not a Commodity

Its constitution still strikes a chord for those of us fighting for workers' rights:

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Your voice, our system

The forums will focus on mental health & addiction services, Māori health inequities, and disability services.

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Fearsome fighter

That’s because when she’s not involved in a tough round of negotiations, or doing her day job as a forensic technician, Kelly is likely to be found in the Muay Thai kickboxing ring.

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A lifetime of discovery

As a curator of the hugely popular Awesome Forces exhibition at Te Papa Museum, and co-presenter of TV show, Coast New Zealand, he has also helped bring science to a wider audience.

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Unity in Diversity

In the workplace union members seek to be visible, vocal and valued but for some workers being visible is a risk - not a right they are afforded.

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