PPTA President

Image Angela Roberts PPTA president 2013-2014

News and views from PPTA president Angela Roberts.

Includes the PPTA News viewpoint and his responses to various education issues raised in the media.

(Angela began her presidency mid January 2013)



Community solidarity bringing change for working people

This month’s viewpoint is dedicated to a woman I deeply admire, who has spent a lifetime championing workers from every sector and who is leaving the CTU presidency with the organisation stronger than ever.

Helen Kelly determined and tireless unionist

As I have watched Helen Kelly work I have always been in awe of her strength and determination.

Not only has Helen worked tirelessly to support those who could not support themselves, but she has worked with communities to help change the view of unionism. Despite desperate attacks on unions from some quarters she has not backed down, leading people to realise it’s not just about "us and them" but about helping us all.

Union movement 'in fine fettle'

Listening to Helen’s farewell speech at the CTU’s recent biennial conference, and to those carrying on in her stead, has given me faith that the union movement is in fine fettle.

She spoke of looking forward, setting priorities, building a stronger union movement and of campaigns reaching beyond our membership. She emphasised the importance of engaging in a broader group of working people with campaigns such as the living wage which include a message that resonates with any working family that is struggling - communities can link together in each other’s interests.

Unions a social hub

Like PPTA’s ambition for schools as community hubs, Helen sees unions as part of a social hub - building community connections and supporting communities.

Through Helen the CTU’s reach has been huge. Other campaigns that include equal pay cases, opposition to fast-food multinational zero hours contracts, health and safety advocacy in the Pike River mine case, forestry and farming have all attracted broad public support.