Stand Up for Library Workers

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.

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.

“They include information technology, emotional, social and caring, teaching, local and general knowledge, cultural sensitivity, and health and safety.”

“Everybody loves their libraries, but we need to make sure the salaries of library workers reflect the work they do.”

Library Assistants PSA House PNG2

Stand up for Library Workers campaign committee: Olga Hemmingsen, Jenny Merton, Bronwynn Maxwell, Susan Heron, Chantelle Smith and Rachel Raphael

In May this year the PSA notified the six large urban councils – Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin – that we believe local government library assistants suffer from illegal gender-based pay discrimination.

The campaign launch came as action ramps up on the local government library assistant’s equal pay claim.

A bargaining committee has now met with council representatives and is working on Terms of Reference for the claim.

The aim is to agree on an equal pay rate for library assistants that we can take to each council to bargain for its implementation.


While this claim is specificly for local government library assistants the PSA also believes all local government workers in female dominated occupations may suffer gender-based pay discrimination.

The claim could also provide a platform to achieve equal pay for library workers in other sectors including the public service.

Our aim is to use equal pay settlements in one occupation or sector to achieve equal pay across our membership.


As part of efforts to raise awareness of the many different responsibilities of library assistants, we’re asking members to send in photos of the mahi they do.

So far the photos sent in show library workers organising everything from holiday programmes, book groups, adult literacy and numeracy programmes, heritage festival events, to workshops on what to do with your DNA results.

Some of the photos will be posted on our campaign page here.

Also in this issue:

President's Message

Tēnā koutou e te whānau

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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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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

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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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