Welcome to our New President

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.

In 2008 he became the youngest person ever elected to the PSA Executive Board, and for the last four years he has been PSA Vice President.

Benedict set up the PSA’s first ever youth network and is active in other union networks such as Out@PSA and the PSA Eco Network. Up until two months ago he was co-convenor of our local government sector committee.

For the past five years Benedict has been a fulltime PSA delegate at Auckland Council, the only fulltime local government union delegate in New Zealand.

Benedict replaces Janet Quigley as President. We extend our thanks to Janet for her extraordinary contribution over the past four years and wish her all the best for the future.


President's Message:


I am honoured to be writing this as your new President of the PSA.

I would like to acknowledge the candidates that ran alongside me at Congress 2020, Lusila Aiono-Tahaafe, Paula Davis and Marshall Tangaroa. I look forward to working with you as we continue the hard work ahead of us.

I would also like to acknowledge our immediate past president Janet Quigley who has led our union over the past four years. Your leadership, wisdom and determination has ensured we have achieved so much. I Iook forward to working hard to achieve more for our members.

I have spent my whole life fighting for the union movement. My values are grounded in the belief that everyone deserves dignity and respect, that there is mana in work, and that we should be involved in decisions about our working life.

Over the next two years I look forward to building a stronger union that will:

  • elevate the voices of women, youth, Māori, and Pasefika. And when I say elevate, I mean genuine power sharing, where we actively work to remove barriers that prevent people from participating in decision making, and put the voices of members at the centre. We are a member-led organisation - it is from members that we receive our power
  • use our collective voice to speak truth to power. We must use our political capital to enact outcomes we have sought for decades
  • we must act now to create universal basic services to build a better life for our members. Fair pay agreements must become the norm, and equal pay claims must be settled and the ethnic pay gap closed
  • continue to grow the membership and capability of our union. Since I accepted a leadership role on the PSA board in 2008, our members have grown from 50,000 to 77,000. I want to see our numbers grow to 100,000. But I also want to see our power as a union grow so that we can fairly, and effectively represent the views of our members.

We have the potential to exert great influence right now to change Aotearoa and improve working lives for the better.

Nō reira, tēnā koutou katoa

Benedict Ferguson

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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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.

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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

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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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