It's all about relationships

Keeping the branch together and everyone moving in the same direction during tense industrial times makes John Dyer-Causton a worthy winner of the PPTA Te Wehengarua Guy Allan award

Negotiating corporate deals, private investigator, security guard, international teacher, unionist to the core. That’s a very short summary of the working life of John Dyer-Causton.

John started teaching English at Auckland Grammar School (AGS) in 2018. Pretty quickly he was drawn into the sphere of PPTA Te Wehengarua first as branch secretary and now as AGS branch chair.

Keeping the branch together

In 2023, a year of significant industrial action for PPTA Te Wehengarua members, John’s priority was to keep the branch and staff together and to keep everyone moving in the same direction.

This even extended to keeping the principal in the loop about what industrial action would look like and working to create a relationship that would serve the members well.

John took an educational approach and was not afraid of taking on a difficult conversation.

Focus on the future

John’s focus was on the fact that 2023 was going to be difficult but whatever the tensions that arose a resolution would be reached eventually. After that all the staff – members and non-members - would have to live and work together.

He framed conversations positively, insisting that the industrial actions were in the interests of the school community so that the branch was not to be seen as acting against the interests of the community.

Quiet words and backstage conversations

John was walking a tightrope, doing a balancing act, but he did so successfully. In 2023 PPTA Te Wehengarua membership increased to 87, well above previous membership numbers.

John continued to monitor any issues that arose within the membership. There were lots of ‘quiet words’ and backstage conversations with senior staff in a bid to resolve issues at the lowest level.

For John it is all about relationships, ensuring that the branch carried out the requirements of the industrial action while keeping the staff united. The employer recognised this with a Staff Award to John at the end of 2023.

PPTA Te Wehengarua is pleased to support John Dyer-Causton as the recipient of the Guy Allan Award for Branch Activism 2023.

* PPTA Te Wehengarua established the Guy Allan award in 2005 to recognise outstanding branch activism in the Counties-Manukau and Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland regions. The award commemorates the late Guy Allan — a former PPTA branch chair and an Auckland-based field officer who was renowned for his commitment to unionism and branch activism.

Last modified on Tuesday, 18 June 2024 11:44