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More Reforms Fewer Rights

Give us a break

In October, members around the country took part in "give us a break" - a series of morning teas - to talk about the impact of employment law changes.  Check out the gallery below for their photos and messages of support.


  1. Otara CYF
    30/10/2013 4:56:50 p.m.
  2. West coast dhb
    30/10/2013 4:56:47 p.m.
  3. Otara CYF2
    30/10/2013 4:56:44 p.m.
  4. National library 7
    30/10/2013 4:56:41 p.m.
  5. National library 4
    30/10/2013 4:56:41 p.m.
  6. National library 2
    30/10/2013 4:56:40 p.m.
  7. CYF4
    30/10/2013 4:56:39 p.m.
  8. Corrections Whangarei
    30/10/2013 4:56:38 p.m.
  9. CDPS team at Family and Community Services1
    30/10/2013 4:56:36 p.m.
  10. cdhb
    30/10/2013 4:56:34 p.m.
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Alternative select committees

With the close of the formal Select Committee hearings process, we are left with hundreds of members both within the PSA as well as in the other unions who are yet to have a hearing regarding their concerns about the law changes.
Even if the Select Committee has decided to end the democratic process we haven’t. We’re organising a series of hearings in towns the Committee did not travel to, to give union members the opportunity to have their say. These meetings are open to members and to the wider public to get along.

Submissions will be heard by Labour and Greens MPs and in some places the President of the Council of Trade Unions, Helen Kelly, will be able to get along as well.

Here are the dates, venues and locations of those events.


Contact person
 8 Nov
 Nelson PSA/NZNO training room,
Munro State Building,
190 Bridge Street 
Alison Arron, PSA, 027 6441650; 
Rachel Boyack (FIRST)
 15 Nov
 Hamilton  YWCA, 28 Pembroke Street
 10.30am-12pm  Georgie McLeod,
 CTU, 027 501 6880
 15 Nov
 Tauranga  Terrace Room, Baycourt,
 Durham Street
 3pm- 5pm
Georgie McLeod,
CTU, 027 501 6880
 22 Nov
 Dunedin  Dunedin    NZNO training rooms,
10th floor, John Wickliffe House,
265 Princes Street
 10am-12pm Victor Billot, 021 482219



Fronting up to the select committee

Kathy LloydNot many people appearing before a select committee have the chutzpah to ask for a cup of tea but PSA delegate Kathy Lloyd did just that. “And I was given a cup of tea during my presentation, it was very friendly,” says Kathy.

Kathy is one of almost 50 PSA members so far to have made personal submissions on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill.

Kathy feels strongly that the Bill as it stands will reduce workers’ basic protections. “It undermines the fundamental rights of workers to elect to have collective representation when negotiating working conditions. It will increase inequality and new entrants to the workforce will be forced to accept reduced pay and conditions.”

“It sets New Zealand on course for a low –wage economy. Skilled workers will have even more reason to head overseas, making economy recovery  less likely whereas we should be trying to attract and retain a highly skilled workforce to contribute to economic recovery.”

Kathy, a veterinarian who works as a market access counsellor for the Ministry of Primary Industries, had never previously appeared before a select committee. “I felt I was listened to attentively and treated in a friendly and courteous manner.”

So it was a worthwhile exercise?  “Yes, absolutely. It’s an opportunity for employees to give a clear message to government that New Zealand needs to value its workforce if it wants to retain qualified and skilled workers. We should be aiming for a constructive dialogue between employers and employees to improve both productivity and working conditions if we want to improve the economy.”


Read Kathy's speaking notes at the select committee hearing


7842 submissions - a fantastic result  and only the beginning!

PSA staff presenting members' submissions on the ERA. The nearly 8000 submissions on proposed changes to the Employment Relations Act is a clear indication that PSA members are very concerned about proposals that would push down wages and undermine hard-won conditions.

And it's only the beginning of the unions' campaign to have these proposals scraped.




What you can do to support the campaign

 1.  Become part of the support team for the the 220 PSA members who have elected to appear before the select committee. Contact

2. Attend the select committee hearings on the Bill  in your town. More information soon.

3. Join the rallies happening in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in the coming weeks. More information soon.

4. Talk to work colleagues and friends about the implications of the Bill.



Changes to the Employment Relations Act

The government is putting through legislation that will take away employment rights and could hit you in the pocket. 

The proposed changes will undermine collective bargaining, remove protections for new workers and put negotiated pay improvements at risk.

You can help campaign against these changes

Low wages are already pushing thousands of Kiwis to leave for Australia. We need to campaign against these changes, and we need to tell the government we want fairer employment laws.


What YOU can do
You can help by:

Keeping yourself up to date with the campaign at


Signing on to help with the campaign by emailing


Making sure new employees in your workplace join the PSA as soon they start.


Making a personal submission to the select committee dealing with this Bill – we’ll provide you with all the information and support you need.


Telling your friends and family about these changes – and ask them to help with the campaign.

PSA members push back the worst aspects of the State Sector Bill

Read our media release

The select committee considering the State Sector and Public Finance Bill has reported back to parliament with some substantial changes to the original bill.

In making these changes, select committee members have told the PSA how impressed they were with the quality of the submissions from PSA members. MPs heard from PSA members first-hand what the bill's original proposals would mean in real life and how unfair they would be. Here's a summary of most significant changes:


The original bill would have meant that an employee who was made redundant from one department could lose their redundancy compensation if they refused a job offer elsewhere in the state sector.
This provision has been substantially changed. The changes will mean:

A public service employee whose position has become redundant cannot be forced to accept a position elsewhere in the state sector or lose their redundancy compensation. If, while serving out the notice period, the employee chooses to apply for and is offered an alternative position elsewhere in the state sector, they will lose the right to redundancy compensation but only if:
•    the position is similar to their former position; and
•    the terms and conditions are no less favourable; and
•    the position is in a similar location.

In such a case, the employee’s service will be deemed to be continuous and service-related entitlements will be retained.

Currently, an employee who is made redundant is paid redundancy compensation according to the provisions of their collective agreement, regardless of whether they have another job to go to elsewhere in the state sector.

There is no question that new constraints on redundancy compensation are being imposed. However, compared to the original proposal, together we have achieved a real victory.

Workplace orders

This is the other major improvement to the original bill.

The original bill allowed for government to use Orders in Council (a form of regulation) to intervene in collective bargaining between the union and the employer and, for example, prevent the employer agreeing to a pay rise.

The select committee has dropped this provision.
Instead, the new bill allows the State Services Commissioner to issue workforce policy statements, but these specifically exclude pay and conditions.