Erin joined the PSA’s secretariat in 2014, when aged 33, making her the youngest and one of the only women union National Secretaries in Aotearoa. Erin has been an activist since her teens, a feminist all her life, but became involved in unions after completing a BA in political studies at the University of Auckland, being trained by the Council of Trade Unions and becoming actively involved in the campaign against youth rates. Erin strongly believes that unions are the most effective vehicle for change and social justice in our society. She is proud to be a current steward of the strong institution of PSA, the largest union in Aotearoa, for which Equal Pay is a strategic goal and daily focus.
Polaczuk is a Polish name. The Polish side of Erin’s family came to New Zealand with an intake of refugees following the Second World War. Erin grew up in Naenae, the fifth of 10 children, and has a daughter herself, with a second child on the way. She spent a large proportion of her adult life living in Auckland city and in coastal Whaingaroa (Raglan), before returning to the Wellington region in 2013. She is engaged to a climate change campaigner. Needless to say, she loves nature, the ocean, progressive politics and people.
Erin is completely committed to working on pay and employment equity for women, and champions the Worth 100% campaign:
“If we could get the gender pay gap to disappear by the time my daughter is working, I would feel very proud, because it would be the power of the collective that achieves this.”