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Helen Kelly has been President of the Council of Trade Unions since 2007.
Helen was born in Wellington with unionism and politics running in her blood. Helen’s family has a long and proud history of involvement in unions and the struggle to improve the lives of working people.
Helen holds an LLB from Victoria University and is also a qualified teacher. It was in the teaching unions that her long professional involvement with the union movement began, holding senior office with both the New Zealand Institute of Education and the Association of University Staff. Helen was the youngest woman ever to be appointed as a general secretary, a position she held at AUS for five years until her election as CTU President.
She is the CTU’s chief spokesperson on a wide range of issues affecting workers in New Zealand. She is a vigorous advocate for women’s pay and employment equity through legislative and social change. Helen is deeply committed to highlighting the importance of having safe and healthy workplaces. A tangible example of this work is her deep involvement and commitment to highlighting the dangers in the forestry industry.
Helen is responsible for CTU international work through the International Trade Union Congress and is a member of the governing body of the International Labour Organisation.
Peter Conway was elected CTU Secretary in 2009. For the previous 9 years he was CTU Economist and Director of Policy.
Peter has been active in unions since 1977, when he became assistant secretary of the Canterbury, Westland, Nelson and Marlborough Clothing Trades Union. Peter has also been assistant national secretary of the New Zealand Distribution Workers Federation, an advocate for retail workers in the National Distribution Union, an educator with the Nurses Organisation and a director of Auckland’s Yellow Bus Company. For a period he was also Coordinator of the Hounslow Trade Union Support Unit and Centre for the Unemployed in London
Peter’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration and an MA in Economics. He was on the Board of Oxfam NZ for 9 years and spent over 6 years on the Board of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
Richard Wagstaff was elected CTU Vice President in 2007. He is one of two national secretaries of the Public Service Association.
He began working at the union in 1988 as a researcher. He became an organiser three years later, working with PSA members in the health and disability sectors in Auckland. In 1997 he was appointed operations manager, responsible for PSA members throughout the country in the health and community sectors. He took up his current position as a national secretary of the PSA in 2000.
Vice President Maori
Syd Keepa was elected Vice President Maori in October 2010. He has tribal affiliations with Ngati Awa, Ngati Maru, and Ngai Tuhoe and a long history of active involvement in the union movement.
Syd has worked in forestry, and the pulp and paper sector and also as a truck driver. He has been a member of the Timber Workers Union, Northern Drivers Union, Pulp and Paper Workers Union and the Wood Industries Union. He was a delegate with the Northern Drivers Union (1979) and the Pulp & Paper Workers Union (1982) and went on to become Branch President of the Pulp & Paper Workers Union. When the Timber Workers Union and the Pulp & Paper Workers Union amalgamated it became the Wood Industries Union. Syd was Auckland Branch President for the Wood Industries Union, then National President of the Wood Industries Union.
He commenced working with the National Distribution Union in 1999 as Apiha Maori and Wood Sector Organiser in Auckland.
Economist and Director of Policy
Bill Rosenberg was appointed Economist and Director of Policy at the CTU in May 2009. He holds a B.Com in Economics, a BSc in Mathematics and a PhD in Mathematical Psychology. Bill was previously Deputy Director, University Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Canterbury, a Member of the Institute of Directors, a Commissioner on TEC, and was a member of the Regional Land Transport Committee of Environment Canterbury.
Bill Rosenberg is widely published on globalisation, trade and e-learning and has been an active trade unionist for 30 years including the Tramways Union and Association of University Staff where he was National President for several years.