It has been two months since our last newsletter for Eco Network members. The Network Convenors would like to provide an update on how the Network has been promoting environmental interests within the PSA, facilitating the sharing of information and resources and encouraging engagement and action on the environment.
- Climate change submission feedback
- Making climate justice a PSA strategic goal
- School strike 4 climate
- Introducing your new convenors
- Wellington convenor vacancy
We would like to thank members who provided feedback for the PSA submission to the Climate Change Commission on its draft advice to Government on climate action in Aotearoa. Some clear themes came through:
- Considering emissions from the production of imported products which are consumed in New Zealand, not just those emitted by local production
- Enabling Local Government to make effective decisions for climate change mitigation and adaptation, including aligning the Local Government Act and the Building Act and Code
- There should be no buying of emissions units from overseas to balance New Zealand’s carbon budget
- Achieving an equitable transition means strengthening workplace democracy.
The feedback also addressed the need for the PSA to become more sustainable, too.
The final PSA submission can be viewed on the PSA website here. According to the Commission, ours was one of more than 15,500 submissions which they are now reviewing. Thank you to everyone who submitted – whether individually, through your work or through contributions to collective submissions like the PSA’s.
Since our last newsletter, the Eco Network Convenors have also participated in the refresh of the PSA Strategic Goals 2018-2024. The outcome of this three-yearly review will set the guideposts for how the PSA advances the interests of members.
The Eco Network is clear that there are no jobs, no unions and no people on a dead planet.
After seeking input from members, Eco Network Convenors met with PSA President Benedict Ferguson and provided a written submission to the Executive Board. We have called for the addition of a new Strategic Goal for the PSA: Climate Justice. Our submission argued that only a standalone goal can give the appropriate level of visibility and mana to this existential issue.
At the same time, we said that the existing Goals should also be updated to address climate change. This is necessary to clarify and build the narrative of the intersections between climate and workers’ justice. You can find our submission online here
On 9 April 2021, thousands of students and supporters took to the streets in cities and towns around Aotearoa for the latest School Strike 4 Climate. PSA members and staff attended events around the country.
The school strikers this year delivered six demands for the Government to take real, meaningful climate action. These had a strong focus on union issues like the impacts of climate change on working people and the need to invest in a just transition. They also echoed many of the points in the PSA’s submission to the Climate Change Commission and the approach to public transport in the PSA’s “Let’s Do Even Better” campaign.
SS4C was supported by the PSA . After a shout out to the Eco Network to help, Network members signed up as volunteers on the day, arranged the loan of megaphones and mobilised support from within the PSA and in the wider union movement
Climate Change Minister James Shaw tweeted his support and told students in Wellington they needed to keep on showing up and putting the pressure on the politicians right across the House.
Young people are showing us the way. The Eco Network Convenors look forward to many more opportunities for the Network to engage in environmental activism for the benefit of union members.
We are very pleased to introduce three new Eco Network Convenors:
- Grant Brookes – National Co-Convenor
Grant has been involved in the Eco Network for a while as the Wellington Convenor. Grant has now stepped up to the National Co-Convenor role alongside Briar Wyatt. Grant works as a Mental Health Nurse at CCDHB in Wellington.
- Alana Reid – South Island Regional Convenor
Alana Reid works at Dunedin City Council on building consents. She is a member of the PSA Executive Board and Local Government Sector Committee, and now also a representative for South Island PSA Eco Network members.
- Shonagh Clark – Auckland Regional Convenor
Shonagh Clark works in the contact centre at Statistics NZ in Auckland. She is a representative for Auckland Eco Network members.
As Grant is now Eco Network Co-Convenor, this has created a Wellington Convenor vacancy.
We welcome expressions of interest for this role.
Network convenors help to develop and coordinate plans, activities, Eco Reps and members in their region and across the country. We also have unelected Eco Rep roles that anyone can volunteer for to participate as a leader in the network. More details about the roles, associated responsibilities and election process can be found on our website here under the ‘Eco Network Structure’ tab.
We invite you to express your interest in the Wellington convenor role or to be an Eco Rep. You can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a paragraph or two about yourself and why you are interested in the role.Please get in touch by Friday 14 May with your expression of interest.
Grant Brookes and Briar Wyatt
PSA Eco Network National Co-Convenors