New old leadership for NSW PSA

October 29, 2016
Rally for disability services, March 2015.

The Rank and File Team has re-won the leadership of the NSW Public Service Association.

Stewart Little, an advocate for the Police Association and part-time disability support worker defeated Anne Gardiner who had been elected general secretary in 2012 on the Progressive PSA ticket.

Gardiner abandoned the Progressives caucus shortly after her election and during her tenure focused on internal union reforms and favoured small target and multimedia campaigns around jobs and defending public services.

Gardiner, a former Greens candidate, rejected proposals put forward by the Progressives to initiate a wide-ranging industrial campaign against the NSW government’s attack on public sector jobs.

Five teams ran in the elections. Rank and File won about 30% of the vote and swapped preferences with two other Labor-aligned groups who won about 30% between them. 

Gardiner’s team won just under 20% and the Progressives about 8%. Voter turnout was 16%.

The incoming leadership claims that it is different to the old Labor-aligned Rank and File that dominated the PSA for 20 years until 2012 and changed the rules to exclude alternative views.

Proportional representation was reinstated by the Progressives and as a consequence all the teams that contested the election will have a voice in the new 45 member Central Council.

The Rank and File’s Facebook page promised that they will initiate a cross-union fight against privatisation and a “systematic industrial campaign and rolling stoppages” to support disability workers.

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