The Public Service Association is delighted to announce Benedict Ferguson has been elected president by delegates at its two-yearly National Congress.
Mr Ferguson has worked for Auckland Council for over 18 years. For the past five years, he has been a full time PSA delegate.
He is the only full-time local government union delegate in New Zealand.
“I have spent my whole life fighting for the union movement. My values are grounded in the belief that everyone deserves dignity and respect, that there is mana in work, and that we should be involved in decisions about our working life,” says Mr Ferguson.
“Since I first accepted a leadership role on the PSA board, our membership numbers have grown from 50,000 to 77,000. I want to see our numbers grow to 100,000.”
Mr Ferguson has previously been elected to other representative and governance roles within the PSA.
In 2008 he became the youngest person ever elected to the PSA Executive Board, and until two months ago was co-convenor of the union’s local government sector committee.
He set up the PSA’s first ever youth network, and is active in in other union networks such as Out@PSA.
“The PSA must elevate the voices of women, youth, Māori, and Pasifika. This means genuine power sharing, where we actively work to remove barriers that prevent people from participating in decision making,” says Mr Ferguson.
“I want to build a stronger union that uses our collective voice to speak truth to power. Fair pay agreements must become the norm, and equal pay claims must be settled.”
Mr Ferguson replaces Janet Quigley, who concluded her four years as PSA President to loud applause and waiata from assembled union members this afternoon.