Paul Goulter has an extensive career in the union trade movement. He is currently the National Secretary of NZEI Te Riu Roa, New Zealand’s largest education union, which he has led for the last 13 years. Prior to this Mr Goulter was a Director of the Australian Council of Trade Unions’ Education and Campaign Centre, based in Sydney.
Previously, Paul spent 20 years in the finance sector union Finsec (now First Union), including nine years as General Secretary, before he became Secretary of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (CTU) for three years from 2000.
Paul also works at an international level with global unions, assisting them with moving into global organising and campaigning.
The role of the union in anti-racism
"Systemic racism remains a major barrier for Māori. It manifest as fewer opportunities in education at mahi; discrimination in recruitment practices, unsafe work environments or ethnic wage inequities. A lifetime of poorer labour market outcomes means that some older Māori remain in mahi out of necessity. Some Māori groups experience persistent and intersecting barriers. These groups include wāhine, tāngata whaikaha, members of the LGBTQI+ and takatāpui community, and older Māori.
The union movement has historically made significant contributions to progressive social change in this country and around the world. They are the powerhouse behind the eight-hour working day, workplace health and safety and continue to champion parental leave and pay equity.
BUT what is the role of the public sector and private sector union movement in challenging racism and upholding Te Tiriti within the workplace, within the health, education and criminal justice systems and beyond? What are unions currently doing in this space? What is the potential of the union contribution in this space? Is Te Tiriti o Waitangi being embraced by unions and union delegates? What are the roles of Māori and Tauiwi in this space? How can we protect the special interests of casual migrant workers in the context of global capitalism? With so much happening at home what should be our contribution be to the global movement for racial justice? How do we protect those that speak up?
This fireside chat brings together union leaders to have a constructive free and frank conversation about where the union movement is at with these powerful questions. Bring your own questions to this interactive session."