New Zealand's socialists are quickly showing what they think of democracy. On the same day that our new government announced its agreed policies, our Public Service Association (PSA) sent to its members the following email. It seems highly disrespectful of the public's voice through the ballot box.PSA ready to defend public and community services and Te Tiriti O Waitangi.
The PSA will continue to strongly promote investment in strong public and community services, and oppose cuts to the jobs of those who deliver them that may result from the coalition agreement announced today.
In particular, we will be taking a strong stand against the incoming coalition’s plan to reduce the number of public sector workers, in some areas back to 2017 levels, based on a simplistic idea that there is a frontline and a back office.
We will oppose the repeal of Fair Pay Agreements and the health and safety provisions that came of the Pike River tragedy. We will also oppose the introduction of oppressive 90-day Trials.
Aotearoa New Zealand’s growing population, which has increased by more than 480,000 since 2017, and the complex climate change and societal changes we face mean that now is not the time to be cutting public services.
Funding tax cuts that will only be meaningful to a small percentage of the population is not a valid reason to put at risk the important work that public and community service workers do for all New Zealanders.
This work includes providing services all New Zealanders rely on, such as keeping us safe and healthy, protecting our precious native forests and birds, keeping our primary sector safe from bio security threats, dealing with our climate crisis, and recovering from storms and other natural disasters.
Defending every job
We will harness the collective strength of our more than 90,000 members to defend the value of the strong public and community services New Zealanders, and the jobs of those who deliver them.
In line with our value of Solidarity – Kotahitanga – we will defend every job. And we will continue to advocate strongly for the well-established and hard-fought-for employment obligations that we expect the new government to honour.
Upholding Ngā Kaupapa
Successive governments have worked hard to improve the Māori-Crown relationship. The PSA will advocate to keep maintaining momentum towards a strong bicultural partnership. We will strongly argue for retaining the current approach of providing evidence-based services that meet the needs of Māori, including keeping Te Aka Whai Ora (Māori Health Authority).
We will continue to champion the voice of Māori being heard in decision making and oppose attempts to roll back the use of te reo Māori in the public service.
The PSA clearly had not canvassed members concerning its war cry. It's almost certain that many PSA members voted against the Labour government and in favour of the policies responsibly announced prior to the election by the winning parties. It's even likely that PSA members' voting proportions were in a similar direction to, if not exactly alike, the voting pattern of the general population. However, PSA bosses are so sure of their moral superiority that they have no interest in ensuring they represent a majority of members paying their salaries.
The PSA's representation of its plans was manipulative and also false in several respects. For example, the claim that planned reductions in public servants were 'based on a simplistic idea that there is a frontline and a back office' ignored other justifications such as the range of woke programs that the Ardern government initiated and funded without majority public support. The suggestion that the new government plans to remove safety provisions resulting from Pike River is scaremongering for which there appears to be no basis in fact. Much of the 'important work that public and community service workers do for all New Zealanders' is actually done for only selected New Zealanders of approved identity. That work will certainly not 'deal with our climate crisis', an unrealistic idea for a world-wide issue the solution to which is uncertain. 'Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toā Āwhina' may well be a PSA wing set up to promote Maori interests (isn't that racism?) but it's unclear how many of the 10,000 members who identify as Maori would agree they are represented by that wing.
The PSA bosses are serving their ideology more than the majority wishes of their members. Oh, and they are serving their own empire, given that any reduction in state employee numbers will reduce the monthly union fees they collect.