Showing posts from November, 2018

No Pride In the Police

Part “Hobson’s Pledge”, part “Blue Lives Matter”, with a thin rainbow veneer. Their rhetoric appears to be lifted straight from talkback radio. Intimidation, gas-lighting the victims of police violence, and outright assault of a Māori trans women — this is what the loud majority in the LGBT community have stooped to in order to defend the right of a largely heterosexual police contingent to dominate the Pride Parade. The core argument appears to be one of inclusion — but if we want to talk about not excluding straight allies, then how about we talk about not excluding Māori allies, whether cis and straight or LGBT? During my time working with the Mana Movement, I never once encountered discrimination due to my gender identity. When I am a guest on a Marae, even as a Pākehā, my gender identity is always respected — a stark contrast to the Pākehā establishment, who many in the LGBT community wish to make peace with. Naturally, Māori LGBT people have expressed concern with the pol

Trade Unionists Support Our Teachers

  Can We Afford to Pay Teachers and Nurses?   This year has seen a remarkable upsurge in workers' struggle.  Union members, largely but not exclusively in the public service, are demonstrating loud and clear that they are sick and tired of decades of low wages and precarious conditions, especially with the cost of housing so toweringly high these days.  The level of inequality between ordinary workers and our bosses and landlords has become utterly unsustainable — tens of thousands of people are not prepared to tolerate this anymore. We have heard, more and more as these workplace disputes have escalated, cries from the government that the pay claims workers — especially primary teachers and nurses — are making are impossible to pay for.  This is not true. The much deserved pay rises demanded by teachers, nurses, and other public sector workers could be paid for, with billions of dollars still to spare, through: Spending just a portion of the $5.5 billion surplus th

Where’s the Justice? MoJ Workers Fight For a Fair Deal

Staff at the Ministry of Justice have been amongst the tens of thousands of workers who have gone on strike this year. Read a report on the struggle so far, and what is coming next, as PSA members demand justice. MOJ members on strike in front of Christchurch District Court. Photo credit: PSA Often when we talk about workers’ struggle, people think about physical labour — miners, factory workers, dock workers, hospitality or customer service, or jobs which are known to be difficult, such as teaching and nursing. Workers in the public service — especially in a place like the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) — are entirely different. I believe there are a couple of key reasons for that: The MoJ is seen as a necessary evil Even if you have absolutely no criticism of the current justice system, having contact with the courts is rarely, if ever, something people want to do. That being said, everybody understands that having workers dedicated to administering justice is requi