Tuesday 25 June 2024

Contact 1800 772 679

Contact 1800 772 679

The magazine of the Public Service Association of NSW and the Community and Public Sector Union (NSW Branch)

A Chance To Look To The Next 125 Years

A Chance To Look To The Next 125 Years

Our union has fought hard for its members for more than a century. It will not stop.

In 1900, John Osbourne became the first Secretary of the Public Service Association of NSW, a union that had been established the previous year.

Mr Osbourne was a Clergyman, Politician, Journalist and, latterly, Union Organiser. Rather than being recruited from the NSW Public Sector, he rose to his position in the PSA thanks to his experience as a Journalist, which was required to launch the precursor to Red Tape, the Public Service Journal.

Mr Osbourne, who died in office, was the first of 17 people so far who have held what is now the position of PSA CPSU NSW General Secretary, a role I currently fill with pride.

For 125 years, the union these people have been fortunate enough to lead has stood up for the workers who make NSW a great place to live, work and learn.

We have had swathes of victories that have made immeasurable improvements to our members’ working lives. Our workplaces are better paid, safer and more equitable. The people who gathered in Bridge Street in 1899 to form our union would not recognise our working lives today.

As comforting as it is to look back and take pride over past victories, the battle has not stopped. Without a union fighting on their behalf, the victories won over the past 125 years would vanish.

We saw as recently as the 12 years of the Liberal National State Government that there are political and social forces who don’t believe in paying decent wages and conditions.

They don’t believe the Public Sector is the most effective way to deliver certain services to the people lucky enough to live in our state.

This is why it is vital we continue to be members of our union, and encourage our colleagues to come aboard. The more members we have, the stronger we are and the louder our voices.

In addition to our industrial strength, we know we are now a major player at the ballot box for state elections, campaigning for what we know will be better outcomes for our members.

Many of the industrial and political issues we deal with today would be a complete mystery to our union’s founders. And we can’t predict what the General Secretary will be discussing with members in the future. But we can be assured that no matter what the issue, the PSA CPSU NSW will be pushing for better wages, better conditions and a well-resourced Public Sector that will protect the enviable quality of life enjoyed by the people of NSW.

Premier Visits PSA House

In addition, our union regularly meets with Ministers to discuss how their decisions affect our members.

We don’t always see eye-to-eye with the Government, but it is heartening that lines of communication are always open.

The Premier, Chris Minns, was one of the speakers at this year’s Annual Conference. He said he will continue to oppose the previous government’s slavish adherence to privatisation and its addiction to consultants.

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