Unjustified Union Fees increase to PSA members – Observation by the Owl

Union members should be getting a discount not an increase.

Social media junky PSA Union Secretary Brenda Pilott who spends her working days tweeting on behalf of Union Members and Phoenix Football fans and fails to attend regular University of Victoria board meetings has increased union fees to members according to their updates on the PSA Website.

Union members have been hit with massive increases according to their press release as follows from their website:

“Fee Increases

PSA membership fees and salary bands change on 1 March.  While fee increases are never popular, most delegates accept the need for these increases to ensure the union’s continued financial stability so we can provide the support members need in such challenging times.”

Let’s just look at the PSA incredibly dire financial issues:




Diff +/-

Revenues  $ 19,348,842.00  $  19,100,444.00  $  248,398.00
Net Surplus (before Tax)  $      458,381.00  $    1,242,446.00


Net Assets  $  26,034,279.00  $  25,406,139.00  $  628,140.00
Cash at Bank  $  17,025,180.00  $  16,230,933.00  $  794,247.00
Total Staff*




Salaries  $  10,743,236.00  $    9,997,253.00  $  745,983.00
Superannuation contribution  $       611,539.00  $       575,932.00  $    35,607.00
Total Staff Salaries  $  11,354,775.00  $  10,573,185.00  $  781,590.00
Average Salary  $         94,623.13  $         80,711.34  $    13,911.79
Staff in 2011 10 staff were on fixed term contracts (2012 3 staff were on fixed term contract)
2011 Net surplus does not include $1.2M tax charge

Observation by the Owl

I thought I would leave this week’s observation to the PSA to explain why union members fees have increased – direct from their 2012 annual report (highlights are mine)


The PSA has finished another year with a good surplus and has a sound balance sheet with useful reserves. The union needs to hold cash reserves. Organisations that do not keep reserve funds maybe forced suddenly to reduce their level of services if income is significantly lower than planned. A good level of cash reserves would allow the union to operate for a significant period of time without income if the operating environment becomes extremely difficult. Political trends will continue to put pressure on income and deepen the need to manage our costs. Public sector job cuts are beginning to have an effect on our membership numbers and recent low interest rates are expected to continue to give modest investment returns in the future. The PSA has however maintained membership levels overall with reductions in one sector being balanced by increased membership in others.

Bruce McKinlay
PSA Treasurer

All information is freely available on their website.

PSA members are being lied to by their executive.


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  • Stuarts.burgers

    Maybe it is to do with the bunch of i30’s with sequential number plates parked out side the office on Blenheim Road the other day

    • Guest2

      Lol no they were NZCTU members arriving for a leader of the labour party vote planning session.

    • Arnie

      How many of their members are getting $80000+ per year???

  • Michael

    I thought non-profits were not supposed to carry large balances forward – this means today’s members are funding benefits for tomorrow’s members.

    • Guest2

      Owl has the registrar put the EMPU accounts up yet? Been 3 weeks since they had them.

      • Time For Accountability


  • davcav

    So, they drop 11 staff then give themselves a $14k (7%) wage increase for the year. Wonder what the reason for getting rid of those 11 workers was…

    • Guest2

      Yep was reading last years post by owl on the reason for the fee increases…see link about re discounts….GST was the culprit.
      So this year political trends last year gst

    • Guest2

      Funny how union executives don’t engage on here with WO and the owl anymore …instructions from above? Maybe owl have called them out. Time for accountability person whoever you are…great read on the EMPU accounts and auditors. I am waiting to see what the reason the registrar has delayed putting the accounts are. The meat workers and MUNZ was pretty swift being redone and put up on website. Must be some big questions being asked by the registrar. I looked at the that training fund…why would EMPU lend the trust 6 million dollars when it only had 3 million in assets. There is no way the fund can repay the loan. What is your take WO and owl?

  • StupidDisqus

    Public sector job cuts are beginning to have an effect on our membership numbers

    Well that’s one bit of good news at least.

  • Patrick

    So out in the big wide world when things get tight we tighten our belt a bit & make savings or cut out discretionary expenditure – in the world of the Unions they just ramp up the subcription fees. Poor old members, many close to minimum wage end up paying more to fund these glorified shit stirring marxists to drive around poncing about as if they are someone special. Why would you give up your hard earned money for these twats?

    • Guest2

      This is a terrible situation. Only 120 people went to their AGM out of 50,000 and spent $2m on the AGM and meetings looking at their website. Interesting Andrew little wanted to rape the ACC reserves. As the PSA is different from other unions – it actually owned by the NZ public..people don’t realize this and the PSA can be recapitalized back into the government coffers.

  • Guest2

    And here is the most important thing on Brenda Pilotts list today – amazing

    “Sporting contrasts: SBW mercenary fake contest with dubious ‘win’, and Lydia Ko talent, maturity, real achievement.”