For a Better Working Life: 100 Years of The PSA

For a Better Working Life: 100 Years of The PSA

LHP members in Wellington may be interested in this special screening at the Film Archive next week, which was compiled as part of the PSA’s Centenary Celebrations.

For a Better Working Life: 100 Years of The PSA screening
When: 7pm, Wed 22 May
Where: The New Zealand Film Archive, 84 Taranaki St, Wellington
Ticket price: $8 public / $6 concession

“For a Better Working Life: 100 Years of The PSA”

New Zealand’s largest trade union, the Public Service Association (PSA), was founded in 1913. The Film Archive celebrates the organisation’s dynamic first 100 years by screening a programme of film and television footage that looks back on the union’s fascinating history – from Modern Girls, to communist scandals, to the demise of work shorts. The films reflect the PSA’s diverse membership and changing relationships with successive governments.

The screening programme, which is made up of a range of films made between 1916 and 1995, includes newsreels, amateur movies, news reports, documentaries and in-house PSA productions. Some items reflect on the different kinds of work done by members over the years, while others document PSA organisational activities.

The earliest film to be shown is Ballot at the Government Statistician’s Office (1916).
This silent film shows public servants working on the World War One conscription ballot, at the Government Statistician’s Office.

Another film, The Public Service at Work: Modern Girls… Looking After The Figures (1946) introduces the punch-card technology being used by female office workers in Treasury.

Also on the evening’s programme is an excerpt from Seeing Red, a 1995 docudrama about the 1948 “satchel affair.” Documents were removed from the car of Cecil Holmes, National Film Unit employee and PSA delegate, revealing his Communist Party affiliation. Includes interviews with writer Dick Scott, former Labour MP Martyn Finlay and writer- activist Elsie Locke.

A selection of news clips from recent decades highlight the PSA’s often prominent role in debating government policy and social issues, in particular, the State Sector reforms of the 1980s and the Employment Contracts Act of 1991.

Among the prominent PSA figures who feature in the films are: Jack Lewin, Margaret Long, Dan Long, Colin Hicks, Joris De Bres, Colin Clarke and Sue Piper.

The For a Better Working Life: 100 Years of The PSA programme will screen at the Film Archive, Wellington. 7pm Wednesday 22 May.