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Text Of Agreement Between PSA and Govt

An Agreement Between
The Minister of State Services and
The Public Service Association
1 May 2000

Partnership for quality

The Prime Minister has stressed the Government’s determination to construct a quality public service. She has described the features of a quality public service; recognised that the PSA is promoting an active partnership approach as a means of achieving this, and endorsed such an approach.

This statement records the agreement between the Minister of State Services and the New Zealand Public Service Association on what a partnership for quality means, and how it can be developed.

Partnership for Quality is an active relationship based on recognition of a common interest to secure the viability and prosperity of Government departments and agencies. It involves a continuing commitment by the PSA to improvements in quality: and the acceptance by government employers and the union as stakeholders with rights and interests in decisions affecting employee’s work and employment.

Partnership for Quality involves common ownership of plans, issues and problems, and involves the direct collective participation of employees through their union and an investment in their training, personal development and their working environment.

This investment in the quality of work and the quality of public servants is a central component in the development of a quality public service, and in maintaining the integrity and responsiveness of the public service.

Within the public service, Crown Research Institutes, and other Crown Entities as agreed, Partnership for Quality will:

 Encourage employers, managers and the PSA to establish co-operative and open relationships.

 Enhance the effectiveness of departments and agencies and their ability to provide quality services and outcomes.

 Create the basis and procedures for decisions on the department or agency’s future and capacity.

 Enhance the quality of the working environment to improve the satisfaction of, and benefits from, public service employment.

 Enable employees to collectively participate in the management of their workplaces to the extent possible while, in the public service, recognising the Chief Executive’s ultimate responsibility for management under the State Sector Act, or, in the case of CRIs and Crown Entities, the Public Finance Act or other enabling legislation.

Practical measures

The Government and the PSA recognise that the move to a partnership culture will require a radical change in attitudes and approaches.

The process will involve a work programme between the government, SSC and PSA that includes training of all involved in the process, provision of support and technical assistance, dissemination of best practice, and enterprise level negotiation and activity.

The PSA and the SSC, in consultation with the relevant Chief Executive, will identify the priorities, co-ordination, and resourcing issues for each party of the implementation of partnership programmes.

The precise form of a final work programme will evolve through communication between the SSC and the PSA, and the PSA and relevant Ministers. The Minister of State Services and the PSA agree to consult on a regular basis to assess the extent to which the work programme is succeeding in changing attitudes and approaches and developing a culture consistent with the intentions of this agreement.

Signed 1 May 2000

Hon Trevor Mallard --- Kathy Higgins
Minister of State Services --- PSA President

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