Latest News Latest News from the PSA Home support worker welcomes agreement between Govt, unions and providers Joint media release – The Public Service Association and Healthcare of New Zealand Ltd<br /> <br /> Healthcare of New Zealand (HCNZ) worker and Public Service Association (PSA) member Jenny Goodman has welcomed the news that an agreement has been signed between the Government, workers and home support providers to resolve the travel time pay issue and improve working conditions in the sector.<br /> <br /> Jenny’s legal case, currently before the Employment Relations Authority, sparked the negotiations which developed the agreement. As part of the agreement, Jenny’s case will be withdrawn, provided the agreement is ratified by workers, District Health Boards, and employers in the home and community support sector.<br /> <br /> Jenny Goodman said “this agreement is a way forward for the sector, and takes some of the burden off the low-paid workforce,”<br /> <br /> “I’m passionate about my work supporting clients to have the best possible lives, and I’m glad this work will be better recognised.<br /> <br /> “The commitment to move towards better security of hours, a permanent workforce and better training and professional development are especially welcome.<br /> <br /> “Paid travel time and consistent payment for the costs for using our own vehicles mean we will be better able to meet the costs of living.<br /> <br /> Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “the PSA is proud to have members like Jenny, who can articulate the needs of their colleagues so effectively,”<br /> <br /> “This agreement is a win-win for workers, for providers, and for the wider health sector, and shows how effective we can be when we work together for the common good.<br /> <br /> “It is important that all home support workers attend the meetings in October and November, so that they can understand the agreement, what it means for them and to have their say.”<br /> <br /> Peter Hausmann, HCNZ Chief Executive, said “workers like Jenny are the backbone of services provided in the community,”<br /> <br /> “We’re looking forward to an agreed review that can create a sustainable future for this sector so older people and disabled citizens can remain healthy and safe in their own homes.<br /> <br /> “Our workforce now has the opportunity to vote on this agreement, and we strongly urge them to attend the upcoming meetings.” _ashergoldman d0bc619a-539e-4479-af4b-221ec8302964 Fri, 12 Sep 2014 09:20:25 GMT New agreement means big changes for NZ’s fastest growing health sector Joint media release – The Public Service Assocation; The Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota; Healthcare of New Zealand Ltd; Access Homehealth; Home and Community Health Association<br /> <br /> The Government, unions, District Health Boards and home and community support providers have signed off on an agreement that will significantly change the fastest growing sector in New Zealand’s health system – providing support to elderly and disabled people in their homes. <br /> <br /> The negotiations for the agreement, which began in April, were in response to a legal claim brought by the Public Service Association against Healthcare of NZ for the payment of the minimum wage to PSA member Jenny Goodman when travelling between clients’ homes. The agreement will require legislation to implement, and is subject to ratification by the workers it affects, District Health Boards and home support providers.<br /> <br /> Richard Wagstaff, spokesperson for the Public Service Association, says “this agreement is an important first step in recognising the worth of health and disability workers who support people to live independently in their homes. As part of the negotiations, it was agreed that workers will be paid for their time at work travelling between clients, and reimbursed for their vehicle costs.”<br /> <br /> Sam Jones, spokesperson for the Service and Food Workers Union, says “we have also reached agreement to move towards more regular working conditions in the sector. This process will result in better security of hours, a permanent workforce and better training and professional development for workers in the sector.”<br /> <br /> Peter Hausmann, spokesperson for Healthcare of NZ, says “as the health sector continues to face a number of challenges due to an aging population and increased health needs, it is constructive that we have worked together strategically with the crown, providers and unions to reach a solution. The review will look at the service changes and levels of funding needed to ensure a sustainable home and community based support sector.”<br /> <br /> Andrea McLeod, spokesperson for Home and Community Health Association, says “the agreement means support workers receive payment for their time travelling between client visits. They will also receive a standard amount for travel reimbursement costs, and this will increase if sufficient funding is available.”<br /> <br /> Graeme Titcombe, spokesperson for Access Homehealth, says “this sector provides direct support to approximately 40,000 older people, people with chronic health conditions and disabled people in their homes every day. This agreement will help to ensure a sustainable future for the sector as it grows in the face of New Zealand’s ageing population.”’s_fastest_growing_health_sector.aspx _ashergoldman 4cdcf5db-5735-4c7c-a9a7-af2ba2ab4eac Fri, 12 Sep 2014 09:20:24 GMT Statistics NZ staff to strike in Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch Staff at Statistics NZ offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will be taking a full day of strike action, including a two hour rally, in support of their demand for a pay system that is clear, fair and negotiated, after a breakdown in collective bargaining.<br /> <br /> <strong>What:</strong> Statistics NZ members on strike<br /> <strong>Where:</strong><br /> Auckland: SAP Centre, 67 Symonds Street (with Darien Fenton, Labour MP)<br /> Wellington: Stats House, The Boulevard, Harbour Quays (with Grant Robertson, Labour MP &amp; Jan Logie, Green MP)<br /> Christchurch: Dollan House, 401 Madras Street (with Metiria Turei, Green MP)<br /> <strong>When:</strong> 10am – 12noon, Tuesday 9 September<br /> <br /> The Public Service Association (PSA) represents more than 400 workers at Statistics NZ who have voted strongly to take a number of forms of industrial action.<br /> <br /> Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “Our members are expert statisticians, but even they find their pay system needlessly complex,”<br /> <br /> “Statistics have refused any across-the-board pay increase, leaving staff falling further behind the cost of living.<br /> <br /> “There is some irony in the very workers who calculate CPI not being able to keep up with it.<br /> <br /> “The complex workings of the system mean that staff are locked into training pay grades, unable to progress to a fair salary.<br /> <br /> “Despite meeting all performance expectations for the role, workers are often stuck below the midpoints of their pay bands.<br /> <br /> “Staff are fed up with Statistics NZ demanding flexibility without offering anything in return.<br /> <br /> “Statistics NZ needs to come back with some real pay movement and a commitment to a clear, fair and negotiated pay system,” said Richard Wagstaff.<br /> _ashergoldman 80922e76-8929-4f8a-96a9-4825b4f0baeb Mon, 08 Sep 2014 13:39:11 GMT Threats against Work and Income staff a disgrace The Public Service Association (PSA) says the continuing threats against Work and Income staff in the wake of the Ashburton shootings are a disgrace, and must end. <br /> <br /> Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “Many Canterbury public servants, including Work and Income, are currently in lockdown following a threat,”<br /> <br /> “This morning, a window was smashed at Work and Income in Nelson while staff and clients were in the office.<br /> <br /> “These ongoing threats are completely unacceptable and Police must act swiftly.<br /> <br /> “All workers should expect to be able to do their jobs without putting themselves at risk.<br /> <br /> “Public servants work hard to make our country better, and they should be proud of the work they do, not fearful.<br /> <br /> “Our Work and Income members across the country will be feeling especially vulnerable at the moment, and they deserve our support and compassion,” said Richard Wagstaff. _ashergoldman 940d84b7-b50d-433d-ba91-bdf6fd5376d4 Wed, 03 Sep 2014 11:46:28 GMT Collins inquiry at best a Band-Aid, a permanent fix is needed The Public Service Association (PSA) says the inquiry into Judith Collins’ behaviour must be accompanied by a process to restore the lost trust between Ministers and public servants if it is to prevent similar situations occurring in the future. <br /> <br /> Glenn Barclay, PSA acting national secretary, said “any inquiry into the behaviour of Judith Collins must be broader than just the allegations relating to the SFO, but should look at her relationships with the public service generally,”<br /> <br /> “However, an inquiry can only ever be a Band-Aid, the relationship and trust between ministers and public servants is under threat.<br /> <br /> “We need a commitment from whoever is in Government after the election to sit down with unions and the State Services Commission to rebuild those relationships.<br /> <br /> “Public servants must be confident to give free and frank advice without fearing for their careers.<br /> <br /> “Our members tell us that they have seen an erosion of free and frank advice, and public servants are increasingly expected to only say what their minister wants to hear.<br /> <br /> “The independence of the public service from Government is of critical importance.<br /> <br /> “We call on all political parties to publicly commit to working with the PSA and SSC to develop a high-level agreement between ministers and public servants,” said Glenn Barclay. _ashergoldman 38e577dd-397d-40b2-8d3e-7d23350f77ce Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:38:44 GMT Greens’ commitment to pay equity welcomed by workers The Public Service Association (PSA) says the 58,000 workers they represent will benefit from the announcement by the Green Party of a commitment to pay equity and to a living wage for core public servants and contractors. <br /> <br /> Glenn Barclay, PSA acting national secretary, said “Thousands of our members experience low pay because their work has been traditionally done by women, and many women are paid less than men doing the same or similar work,”<br /> <br /> “A commitment to pay equity for people in sectors like home and disability support, and clerical and administrative health workers, will make a huge difference to thousands of New Zealanders lives.<br /> <br /> “We believe the Government should set an example by paying its employees at least a living wage, and it is good to see the Greens and Labour both commit to this.<br /> <br /> “Our members work hard to improve New Zealanders lives, but often do so with inadequate pay and conditions.<br /> <br /> “The PSA is politically non-partisan, but we support policies, like the Greens industrial relations policy, that will help to give New Zealanders a better working life,” said Glenn Barclay.’_commitment_to_pay_equity_welcomed_by_workers.aspx _ashergoldman 070350c5-806b-4209-af69-0d6b04ad77d3 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:30:00 GMT Union to support Work and Income staff following tragedy The Public Service Association (PSA) says today’s shooting at a Work and Income office is a tragedy, and nobody should go to work in fear that they might not return home. <br /> <br /> Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy,”<br /> <br /> “We don’t know what the cause is, but we will be supporting our members from Ashburton Work and Income at this terrible time.<br /> <br /> “That two people have died and one more is in a serious condition is inexcusable, and we hope the Police can bring the shooter to justice.<br /> <br /> “Nobody should go to work in the morning without returning home that same day.<br /> <br /> “Our 6500 members working at Ministry of Social Development will have their Ashburton colleagues in their thoughts,” said Richard Wagstaff. <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>FOR MORE INFORMATION</strong><br /> <br /> The PSA represents 8 members at the Ashburton Work and Income office, and an additional 8 at Ashburton Child, Youth and Family in the same building.<br /> <br /> We have no information at this stage about whether any of our members are amongst the victims.</p> _ashergoldman c8564cf8-68de-4fb5-93b1-60fb07393e85 Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:14:17 GMT DHB industrial action withdrawn, workers to vote on new offer The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation. <br /> <br /> Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “We are pleased that, through the mediation process, we managed to negotiate an improved offer from the DHBs,”<br /> <br /> “This new offer will mean more money in the pocket for our hard-working members, and real progress on some of their other key issues.<br /> <br /> “Our members take patient care seriously, so the DHB agreement to increase engagement on learning and development is particularly welcome to improve the standard of care.<br /> <br /> “The new offers will now go out for discussion and voting at members meetings across the country, with a recommendation to sign.<br /> <br /> “As a democratic organisation, our 12,000 DHB members covered by these proposed agreements will have the final say over this decision.<br /> <br /> “Industrial action was a last resort after months of bargaining, and we are pleased sufficient progress has been made that we can take that option off the table,” said Richard Wagstaff. _ashergoldman fcea5c1f-6e59-4e85-aa81-10c3b53b3871 Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:14:24 GMT SSC survey shows clear way forward for better public services The Public Service Association (PSA) has welcomed the release of the State Services Commission’s (SSC) <em>Integrity and Conduct Survey 2013</em>, which it says indicates what needs to be done to strengthen the public services that New Zealanders use and trust. <br /> <br /> Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “This is an important report and we are very supportive of the SSC doing this work,”<br /> <br /> “The report shows that public agencies need to shift to more high performance approaches to management – cultures of open communication where people are encouraged to speak up, they have opportunities to develop and are paid fairly.<br /> <br /> “A shift in management approach is also needed to encourage retention, particularly of young people, with 30% likely to leave within 2 years, with the lack of future career opportunities, low pay and a lack of recognition among the key reasons.<br /> <br /> “It is concerning that only 42% agree that promotion and appointments to new jobs within their agencies are based on merit and a fair process.<br /> <br /> “Only 58% agree that they receive good recognition for doing a good job and just 54% say that they are paid fairly for the work that they do.<br /> <br /> “We are discussing the issues raised by the report with the SSC and are looking forward to working with them and with agencies on the issues raised,” said Richard Wagstaff. <p> </p> <p><strong>FOR MORE INFORMATION</strong><br /> <br /> The State Services Commission’s <em>Integrity and Conduct Survey 2013</em><br /> <a href=""></a></p> _ashergoldman 4b4adc30-1f51-41cf-a069-e4f464e2917d Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:20:07 GMT Collins must resign for leaking public servants’ details The Public Service Association (PSA) says Ministers should not be leaking neutral public servants' details so they can be attacked for partisan politics, as Judith Collins has admitted following allegations in Dirty Politics by Nicky Hager. <br /> <br /> Glenn Barclay, PSA acting National Secretary, said “Public servants must be able to do their jobs without fear of being dragged into partisan politics,”<br /> <br /> “Minister Collins has admitted giving the name of a Ministerial Services staffer to blogger Cameron Slater.<br /> <br /> “After his name was released, the staff member and his family were subject to abuse and threats from commenters on the Whale Oil blog.<br /> <br /> “Minister Collins must take responsibility for her actions and resign, her behaviour falls well below what is expected of our leaders.<br /> <br /> “Public servants work hard every day to make New Zealand better, they aren’t political playthings for Ministers and partisan bloggers,” said Glenn Barclay.<br />’_details.aspx _ashergoldman 42fcb7ad-2f80-4032-bb0f-228f2ec752b0 Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:04:09 GMT Disturbing allegation that PM’s office helped attack neutral public servants The Public Service Association (PSA) is deeply disturbed by allegations in Nicky Hager’s new book <em>Dirty Politics</em> that one of John Key’s staff helped blogger Cameron Slater to attack public servants questioning the disastrous restructuring at MFAT. <br /> <br /> Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “If these allegations are true, the Prime Minister’s office tried to derail legitimate complaints by MFAT staff by having them attacked by Cameron Slater,”<br /> <br /> “Nicky Hager alleges that one of John Key’s staff gave Cameron Slater ideas for information to seek under the OIA, that, when stripped of context, could be used to attack neutral public servants.<br /> <br /> “The MFAT restructuring was bungled from day one by both the Minister and the Chief Executive.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> “Public servants must be able to discuss proposals for restructuring freely between themselves, in their union and with their employer, without fear of attack for political purposes.<br /> <br /> “Allegations of this sort of behaviour emanating from the highest levels must be fully investigated,” said Richard Wagstaff.<br /> <br /> <p><strong>FOR MORE INFORMATION</strong><br /> <br /> The alleged contact between John Key's staffer Jason Ede and Cameron Slater is detailed on Page 42 of <em>Dirty Politics</em> by Nicky Hager.</p>’s_office_helped_attack_neutral_public_servants.aspx _ashergoldman 577a1067-0656-4232-bc54-4b3fffd4af36 Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:06:04 GMT Worth 100% campaign for pay equity launched The Public Service Association (PSA) has launched Worth 100%, a campaign for pay equity across the public service; state sector; local government; health, and community sectors covered by New Zealand’s largest union. <br /> <br /> Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “The PSA aims to close the gender pay gap in workplaces we cover by 2020 – an ambitious but necessary goal,”<br /> <br /> “More than 70% of our 58,000 members are women, but they are not being paid fairly for their work.<br /> <br /> “Recent analysis by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner shows that in the public service, women are paid on average 14% less than men.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> “In the home support and residential care industries, our hard working members are underpaid because their roles have traditionally been seen as women’s work.<br /> <br /> “The PSA is ready to work with whoever is in Government after the election to make a firm plan to end the gender pay gap for workers whose salaries are funded by Government. <br /> <br /> “Pay equity is a crucial issue for PSA members, and for all New Zealanders,” said Richard Wagstaff.<br /> <br /> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" alt="Worth 100% Same value. Same pay." /></p> <br /> _ashergoldman b9fddff8-f26f-41c8-8784-f6d3b32436bc Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:58:17 GMT The PSA welcomes Labour’s commitment to public services The Public Service Association (PSA) have welcomed Labour’s state services policy announced today, and says public servants will welcome the return of a career public service that invests in staff training and professional development.<br /> <br /> Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “Labour’s promise to rebuild core capacity is very welcome following years of significant restructuring and underinvestment,”<br /> <br /> “PSA members have suffered from increasing use of contracting out, and fixed-term and casual employment arrangements.<br /> <br /> “Labour’s promises to ‘facilitate career path development both within and across agencies’ and to ‘ensure that adequate investment is made in training and lifelong learning’ will give school-leavers reasons to choose public service as a career path.<br /> <br /> “Moves to address pay equity and below living-wage pay rates are sorely needed, as many of our members struggle to make ends meet.<br /> <br /> “This policy is a serious and well thought out contribution to the future of the public services New Zealanders value and rely on,” said Richard Wagstaff.<br />’s_commitment_to_public_services.aspx _ashergoldman 752fb565-9cc7-460e-8db6-dc22c87cfc9b Wed, 06 Aug 2014 14:08:37 GMT Nearly 12,000 DHB workers vote overwhelmingly to take industrial action Nearly 12,000 District Health Board (DHB) workers, members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have overwhelmingly voted in favour of taking industrial action after they were offered only a 0.7% pay increase per year and no movement on other issues including training and professional development.<br /> <br /> The health workers are located in every DHB across New Zealand, and include mental and public health nurses; physiotherapists; anaesthetic technicians; dental therapists, administrative staff and a number of other occupational groups.<br /> <br /> Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “Health workers are making a stand, together, to say this is not good enough, and they deserve better,”<br /> <br /> “The strength of these results, with an average 87.1% in favour of industrial action, shows the seriousness of the funding crisis in the health sector.<br /> <br /> “Our members take their duty of care very seriously, it is a huge step for them to even consider taking such strong action.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> “DHB staff work hard to keep New Zealanders healthy, but their own wellbeing is put under increasing strain by these insulting offers.<br /> <br /> “The DHBs have told us that the Government has indicated there will be even less money on the table next year — a continuation of systemic underfunding of the health system.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> “Budget documents say DHBs expect a 17% increase in demand over the ten years to 2021, but they won’t get the funding to match and they’re planning to squeeze it out of staff.<br /> <br /> “The Government has plenty of big talk promising wage rises for New Zealanders, but their own workers are being left behind.<br /> <br /> “Our members are asking to be fairly recognised for the hard work they put in to keep our health system running – an annual pay rise shouldn’t start with a decimal point,” said Richard Wagstaff.<br /> _ashergoldman e6969a77-5d9b-49ec-a7c9-477630609510 Mon, 04 Aug 2014 13:09:54 GMT Labour’s living wage announcement welcome news for public servants The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the living wage will be welcome news to thousands of hard working New Zealanders.<br /> <br /> Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “Our members work hard to improve New Zealanders lives, but often do so with inadequate pay and conditions,”<br /> <br /> “The PSA is a proud member of the Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand campaign, and having the Government set a positive example for other employers would be fantastic.<br /> <br /> “We also want to see a firm timeline for extending the living wage to other Government employees, including contractors.<br /> <br /> “Constant restructurings over the past 6 years have left many Government departments with significant overwork and morale problems.<br /> <br /> “Labour’s commitment to the Government being a leader in good employment practices will help to increase productivity and ensure New Zealanders get the best out of their public services.<br /> <br /> “The PSA is politically non-partisan, but it is important to recognise good policy where it exists – and today’s announcement is certainly good policy,” said Richard Wagstaff.’s_living_wage_announcement_welcome_news_for_public_servants.aspx _ashergoldman ec8c2c0c-94e1-44a5-aefb-17849acbbce3 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:33:26 GMT