|Issue No 118||02 November 2001|
Real Baby Bonus for Local Government
The Municipal Employees Union has won an historic Paid Maternity Leave victory on behalf of thousands of workers throughout NSW.
Following months of negotiations between the MEU and the Local Government Shires Association (LGSA) a consent agreement was this week approved by the Industrial Relations Commission.
According to MEU General Secretary Brian Harris, it can't come soon enough for many members. "We've got members who are hanging out for this decision and it will make a big difference to them - many are coming to the Commission hearing just to make sure it goes through," said Brian Harris.
Harris says the decision will benefit thousands of workers throughout NSW, including those in regional areas who are doing it tough.
"Paid Maternity Leave recognises the value of women in the workforce. It provides the opportunity for workers to have a family without being financially disadvantaged," he sayd.
The MEU believes the battle for paid maternity leave has been harder than predicted but worth the commitment by the Union and its members.
"There has been no parity at all with paid maternity leave provisions," Harris says. "Both federal and state government employees have been entitled to paid maternity leave for years however local government workers have not."
Paid maternity leave will extend to 9 weeks on full pay or 18 weeks on half pay. "A very positive aspect of the agreement is that casual employees who have worked on a regular and systematic basis with council will also be entitled to paid maternity leave," Harris says.
Harris scoffs at the criticism by some that Paid Maternity Leave is discriminatory. "Australia is only one of three industrialised countries that does not have paid maternity leave. It is recognised that it is vital for both mother and child to have a break from work and it is time women - and families - were no longer economically disadvantaged by starting families."
Interview: Flying High
ACTU Secretary Greg Combet on saving Ansett jobs, defeating Howard and wooing a new generation of unionists.
Corporate: Howard's List of Shame
ACTU President Shaharn Burrow runs through the litany of corporate collapses and down-sizes that have cut a swathe through the Australian community.
Campaign Diary: Week Four: The Battle Lines Drawn
It was a week that saw the leaders launch their campaigns, kiss lots of babies and battle for space with a Holy Jihad.
Industrial: Desperately Seeking Solutions
They might not call it 'industrial relations' in the spin of modern politics, but all the major parties have released plans that will affect the way we work over the next three years.
Economics: Manufacturing Prosperity
Neale Towart looks at the hidden debate of the election campaign - the degree of intervention government should take through Industry Policy.
History: War And Politics
The Conservatives are trying to wage war and win the election. The pundits say itís a tried and true recipe for electoral success. The 1940 federal poll suggests otherwise.
International: Globalising Labour
On the eve of the International Metalworkers Federation Congress general secretary Marcello Malentacchi argues all nations need to retain a manufacturing base.
Review: Security - Who Needs it?
What does it mean to be secure? Should we even need to ask? In his new book, Anthony Burke asks the tough questions.
Satire: Locksmith Promises "Greater Security" If Elected
A Melbourne locksmith has agreed to run for federal parliament, campaigning on the key issue of security.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005