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Women's Network

What is the Women’s Network?

A place for women members to share experiences about work and organise around the things that need to change.  Over 40,000 women are members of the PSA.

Our aims:
•    promote the interests of women within the PSA
•    facilitate the sharing of information and experiences; and
•    encourage and support women’s participation in PSA representative structures at all levels.

Join the Women's Network

Sign up to hear about  news, information and events relevant to women members

Simply tick the box for the Women's Network when you login and update your details on the PSA website.  


Women’s Network co-ordinator

Jo Taylor has been appointed as the PSA Women’s Network co-ordinator.  Jo is a PSA organiser based in the Dunedin office.  She has worked for the PSA since 1997, with some breaks to have babies.  Jo has an organising workload that covers home support workers who work for non government organisations provided social services to the elderly and disabled.


Council of Trade Unions Women's Committee rep



Founding members

The PSA has a long history of women members coming together to make change happen.  Our founding members – activists past and present, talk about their involvement:


Margaret Long

Jean Greedy

Cath Kelly

Paula Scholes PSA president

Georgina Kerr

Jackie Kerr

Debbie Taylor

Diana McRae

Colleen Sayer-Roberts

Janet Quigley

Pam Jemmet

Alison van Dyk


Picture of women's network

Be in to win a tablet with the women's network!

How handy would winning a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 be in the lead up to Christmas? It could make a great present for a loved one – or yourself for that matter!
Go in a draw to win the white, 7 inch tablet for every two PSA members you sign up to the women's network. Download the form here.


The competition closes Friday 20 December.


All new members also go in a draw every month for some fair trade goodies, including chocolate, coffee, dried fruit and more! Congratulations to Serena Cookson for winning the October prize pack.

Are you registered to vote in the asset sales referendum?

A referendum on the sale of public assets is taking place between 22nd of November and the 13th of December.  Voting papers will be coming out shortly asking you to vote yes or no on the following question:


"Do you support the Government selling up to 49% of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?” Selling off our assets now will leave nothing for future generations. The consequences of selling our public assets include an increase in power prices to profit foreign investors, a loss of income for the government due to lost dividend income, and less control over our public utilities and resources.


It is important to have YOUR say!  If you are not enrolled to vote it is important to do so now, so you can have your say in the referendum as well as in the 2014 general elections.  Check here to see if you are enrolled.

Pay and employment equity

One of the PSA’s strategic goals is to close the gender pay gap within our coverage by the year 2020. But recent figures from the State Services Commission show that the gender pay gap is heading in the wrong direction, with the gender pay gap in the public service now up to 14.2% (from 13.7% last year).


This is of grave concern, not only for public service workers but also more widely. We hoped that by now we would see the pay gap closing. Our plan includes tackling the issue through bargaining better pay systems, supports for women to balance work and home responsibilities and developing resources to help women negotiate better starting rates.

In August, a Service and Food Workers Union member, Kristine Bartlett, won a case against her employer under the Equal Pay Act. This is a landmark case for New Zealand as the Employment Court found that occupational groups which are predominantly women, such as caregivers like Kristine, should receive a rate of pay equal to what would be paid if that occupational group was male-dominated.


The Court invited the SFWU to make a case for the correct rate of pay for the job, and this is the next stage of the case. Kristine’s employer may still is appealing the decision case, and we are watching developments closely as it will have significant implications for many of our members working in female dominated industries occupations. PSA is researching possible equal pay cases on behalf of members in these occupations.

Get crafty for Christmas (Auckland Event)

The Working Women’s Resource Centre invites you to another fabulously crafty Christmas event. Make gorgeous and easy Christmas decorations or presents with Kitch Cuthbert and other crafty women from the resource centre. Children are also welcome – and free!  Download the invite here.

Targeting the Untapped Talent in the central North Island region

On the 30th of October we held our PSA Women’s Leadership workshop in Rotorua. Twenty women PSA members from across the Central North Island were able to participate, with expressions of interest having been received from many more.


The aim of the workshop is to increase women members’ confidence and ability to participate in all levels of the PSA’s democratic structure. One participant commented “The course was absolutely amazing and I learned an immense amount in our short day. The content proved to be profound in the information, the speakers and above all else all the women who attended.” Nicole Nepe, PSA Delegate at the Maori Land Court, Tairawhiti-Gisborne.


We are aiming to hold the workshop again in all of the main regions across New Zealand over the course of 2014. The South Island will be next during the first quarter of next year.
Look out for an invite to the next workshop in your region!

What have women contributed to the PSA over the last 100 years?

On the 31st of October the PSA turned 100 years old. The women’s network has participated in the many celebratory events leading up to our birthday. Go here to watch a video highlighting our women’s member’s contributions to our history.
As part of the celebrations we’ve also refreshed our poster on pay and employment equity. For copies of the poster email 

Women's Network Conference Report

A highlight was the presentation by Lisa  Heap, Executive Director Australian Institute of Employment Rights Inc. You can download her presentation here..


Jackie Blue, EEO Commissioner’s address was also very well received by the conference attendees.


The conference endorsed a proposal to formalise Maori representation on the Women’s Network Committee.


A new women's network committee was elected:

Andrea Fromm, Stats NZ, Wellington
Anna Sunter,NZTA, Wellington
Ceinwyn Bannister, Wanganui District Council
Erina Okeroa,Stats NZ, Wellington
Fiona Ormsby, Counties Manukau DHB,
Gail Arthur, University of Otago, Dunedin
Hannah Gabriel, Hutt City Library, Wellington
Jaclyn Bonnici, Oxfam, Auckland
Joanna Vink, Corrections, Probation, Northland
Lucy Gray, Otago University, Dunedin
Nancy McShane, Canterbury DHB, Christchurch
Janet Quigley, Canterbury DHB, Timaru
Tiare Williams, BOP DHB, Whakatane

The committee will hold an initial face to face meeting in November and elect the National Convenor and four Regional Convenors.


One conference attendee commented:
“The best thing about the PSA Women’s Conference was meeting passionate, like- minded women from across the PSA from a wide range of sectors and across the whole country. The thing I discovered that most surprised me was how little I really understood about pay and employment equity in practice and the impact on our communities and how much I want to be involved in making a difference. The conference has made me think that we need to stand up for PAEE and never stop campaigning for equal rights and pay.” Lucy Gray, Otago University.

Women in the PSA - 100 Years of Progress


Women’s network national conference 2013

The network conference will be held in Wellington on Tuesday, 17 September. It will focus on pay and employment equity (PAEE).

Lisa Heap, Director of the Australian Institute of Employment Rights’ (AIER) will provide an international perspective and an invitation has been accepted by Jackie Blue, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner.

Participants will have the opportunity to develop and get involved with the PSA’s PAEE plan. 

The conference will also elect a new network committee and the convenor   for a one year term. Expressions of interest close on Friday 30 August. Email for more information.

Be in to win with the women's network!

Go in a draw to win a Nokia Lumia cellphone for every two PSA members you sign up to the women's network. Download the form here.


The competition closes on 31 August. All new members also go in a draw every month for some fair trade goodies, including chocolate, coffee, dried fruit and more!

The women's network provides a voice for women across the union. Network members receive information about campaigns related to women's issues, and invitations to exciting events such as conferences and women's leadership training.

Like the network on Facebook.



Targeting the Untapped Talent – Women’s Leadership Workshop

This exciting workshop was held in Auckland on Tuesday 16 July 2013. Participants included network members and PSA delegates from across the Auckland and Northland regions.

The aim of the workshop is to increase women member's confidence and skills to participate at all levels of the PSA's democratic structures. 

The workshop will be rolled out across the country during the remainder of the 2013-14 financial year.

Look out for an invite to the next workshop in your region!

Sector newsletter - Christmas edition

This newsletter is written and designed by PSA delegates Dale Parkes and Gwenda Nicolle, the women’s reps on the Public Service Sector.  Read here.



No easy victory

“No Easy Victory” a document about the equal pay campaign is now available as an electronic text over at

the NZETC website:


Women's Network: Update October 2011

Find out all the latest information and more.

Constructing Workplace Democracy: Women’s Voice in New Zealand Public Services


Last year the PSA, in partnership with the Industrial Relations Centre at Victoria University, surveyed our women members, canvassing five main areas:


• Women PSA members -  profiled the PSA women who participated in this research, the work that they do and the family, caring and community responsibilities that make up their lives.


• The average salary was $43,185 per annum before tax; 68% of respondents earned less than $60,000 gross per year. 


• Flexibility at work -  explored how much flexibility PSA women have in their jobs and how much they can shape and influence the organisation of their daily work.


• Influence at work -  looked at the nature and organisation of work of PSA women and also considered their experiences of bullying and discrimination in the workplace.


• Constructing careers -  provided an analysis of how PSA women are planning their careers and what managerial and organisational supports they have for career development.


• Influencing unions -  considered the attitudes of PSA women to their union, and asked whether they see it as innovative and encouraging of member participation.


There was a high response rate (7,300 respondents), making this the largest dataset of New Zealand workers.


The findings will inform the PSA’s strategic planning, bargaining strategies and policy development.  They have been shared with stakeholders including the Ministers of Labour, State Services and Women’s Affairs, as well as with our members, other unions and other organisations.  


The full survey can be found here.


Summary of numbers can be found here..


Our media release can be found here.


Presentation from Victoria University can be found here.


Women’s network gathering

Nearly 50 delegates and members from all sectors focussed on issues such as flexible working arrangements, influence in the workplace, career progression, bullying and discrimination and pay and employment equity; as well as women’s participation in the PSA.


A 10 person committee was elected, and they will develop a workplan.  The committee members are: Alison van Dyke, MSD, West Coast, Sarah Bellamy, MSD,  Wellington, Carolyn Sellens, DoL-Immigration, Wellington, Mary Nettle, Stats, Shelly Rao, Quit Group, Anna Huffstutler, Healthcare NZ, Invercargill, Janet Quigley, Canterbury DHB, Timaru, Donna Morris, DoC and Heather Taylor, DoC, Northland, -shared position, Hilary Gandy, MoE, Auckland, Ariana Nixon, Otago Correction Facility, Dunedin.


Download papers and presentations from the gathering:

Pay and Employment Equity

Women's Network: Update April 2011

Find out all the latest news and issues in this April 2011 now.




Suffrage Day

The 19th September 2010 will be the 117th anniversary of New Zealand women obtaining the right to vote.  The right to vote, regardless of gender is called ‘suffrage, however the 19th September marks the day when the Electoral Bill granting women the vote was given the Royal Assent and NZ women voted for the first time in the election held on 28 November 1893, henceforth called ‘Women’s Suffrage Day”. Read on.

No ma'am's land

PSA organiser Tanja Bristow went along to hear leadership expert Susan Vinnicombe, professor of organisational behaviour and diversity management at Britain's Cranfield University, speak about about the impact of women on boards. Here are Tanja's notes from the seminar .

For more about what's happening with PAEE see our PAEE webpage   The conference also voted to support private sector unions to undertake PAEE audits.  So far there have been no PAEE audits done in the private sector.