|Issue No 107||17 August 2001|
Paid Baby Leave Sparks New Family Push
The ground-breaking Australian Catholic University (ACU) agreement, which included a year's paid maternity leave, has sparked a nationwide push for further benefits for families.
"The State Public Sector Group of the CPSU negotiated and is a party to the ACU landmark agreement and is now embarking on negotiations to improve parental leave provisions for other workers", says David Carey, Joint National Secretary of the CPSU.
The Union and its State Affiliates will campaign around three issues:
· increased paid parental leave for fathers,
· increased paid maternity leave and
· better right of return to part time work after taking parental leave.
The Union will be including these demands in claims to be served on major state government employers, including health, education, housing and community services. The NSW Public Sector is expected to be the next, with renegotiations of its awards later this year. The Victorian Public Service has claims under negotiation with the Bracks Governmentt.
"The provisions in the Australian Catholic University enterprise agreement are a significant step forward in securing benefits to assist workers to combine paid work and family responsibilities", says Mr Carey.
"All workers should be entitled to these benefits", says Mr Carey. "The Union in the public sector has been the leader in setting employment conditions and the Union intends to keep up the pressure. The Union will be urging Sate Governments and other University Employers to adopt these provisions".
"Australia is only one of three countries that does not have paid maternity leave for all women workers. The Howard Government policy, of leaving these matters to Enterprise Bargaining, has let Australian workers slip behind the international community in this area."
"This is a matter for a fair social policy, not a matter for the Market, where only the strong win" says Mr Carey.
Paid Mat Leave: MEU Wins Round One
Meanwhile, the MEU has defeated an attempt by the Local Government and Shires Association to frustrate the hearing of the Union's claim for paid maternity leave in local government.
A hearing of the Full Bench of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission this week rejected an application by the LGSA to have the claim heard as a test case. The Commission decided that the case should proceed as an industry specific case regarding the provision of paid maternity leave in local government.
The MEU is arguing parity with other public sector employees. Federal public servants have access to 12 weeks paid leave. State public sector workers have had access to 9 weeks paid leave for decades. Few NSW Local Government workers currently have any entitlement to paid maternity leave.
MEU General Secretary Brian Harris said "Workers in local government have been denied paid maternity leave for too long - today's decision means that the Union's claim can proceed to be heard in November this year, as originally planned."
"The outcome enables the Union to move closer toward gaining wage justice for female workers in local government."
The MEU is also pursuing a Council by Council enterprise agreement campaign with recent wins at Leichhardt (12 Weeks) Canterbury Council (9 weeks), Burwood Council (12 weeks) Manly (9 weeks). The MEU urges councils in metropolitan and regional areas to support the Union campaign.
Interview: What's The Deal?
Labor's IR spokesman Arch Bevis explains how a Beazley Government will rebuild our broken system.
E-Change: 2.3 The State of the Union
White hope or white elephant? The future of trade unions is by no means guaranteed in the networked society.
Industrial: Into the 21st Century
ACTU President Sharan Burrow looks at the landmark deal delivering workers 12 months paid maternity leave.
Unions: The Black Hole
Jim Marr goes inside Stellar to discover the human cost of a management philosophy that says: you are on your own.
History: The Age of Dissent
The Sydney Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History has organised a Conference on Social Protest Movements and the Labour Movement, 1965-1975.
Media: ABC and the Knowledge Nation
Tony Moore looks at how the national broadcaster's fortunes are closely linked to the Knowledge Nation Agenda
International: Brazil´s C.U.T. - When Big Is Beautiful
The CFMEU´s Phil Davey drops in on Brazil´s equivalent to the ACTU, the Central Unica Dos Trabalhadores (CUT).
Satire: Bracks Disputes Cabramatta tag
Victorian Premier Steve Bracks has called for a national council to decide on a location for Australia's drug capital.
Review: Globalisation Is Globalisation
In an extract from his book, Christopher Shiel argues that the official Australian perspective on globalisation is strikingly narrow.
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