Stand Together is our campaign for better public and community services.
About The Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi
The PSA – the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi –is New Zealand's largest union, representing nearly 62,000 workers in central government, state-owned enterprises, local councils, health boards and community groups.
About the Stand Together Campaign
We're ordinary New Zealanders who want our communities to be strong, vibrant and healthy. We want out public and community services to be properly funded and well resourced. And we want the people who provide them to be cherished and celebrated and protected from further cuts.
In 2016 the Stand Together Campaign was launched, it was founded on research that showed the perception of Public Servants was a negative stereo type of face less bureaucrats in grey suits in Wellington. Once these people were prompted to think about other jobs in the public service- like "people at the Department of Conservation maintaining our national parks" or "the people who make sure that our food sold is safe to eat" or "people who staff the 111 service to ensure you can get the help you need" their attitudes began to change.
"I think those are all essential services that we pay our tax for" said one participant. "We don't always think of those things as public services- we just take those for granted I suppose". And another said, "all the unsung heroes, all the people who do all the lovelywe work we forget about them. The people who mange our roads and pick up our rubbish and do all of that"
And that's the message we have take into our election Campaign,
We're not just servants we are heroes.
As a Public Servant you can be a hero, every single day, no matter what your job is. We're often taken for granted but we should all feel like superstars. So a big part of the Campaign since it was launched has been about profiling our local heroes and you can see more about that here
But addressing the lack of support wasn't the only issue. In late 2016 we surveyed the PSA members to find out what their priorities where for the 2017 general election. The results were clear, economic issues like wages and family income for ourselves and the people in our communities are the big issues. Housing, poverty and inequality came in close behind. Funding of public services, including mental health, staffing levels, the environment and climate were all mentioned as well.
People working in public and community services frequently miss out on the kind of pay rises employers give in the private sector. One reason is the lack of funding coming from the government. By the time the departments and agencies have paid for new equipment or additional staff, there's not much left to transfer to workers to cover the increased costs of rent, petrol or food.
Join the Campaign
We have public and community services because when we all come together to support each other everyone benefits. This election we encourage everyone to be active and engaged. By been involved we can make sure that voters support strong independent public and community services and in turn elect a government that will do the same.