Wednesday 8 March is International Women’s Day. Show your support for flexible working conditions, which will help both women and men have a better work/life balance, by photographing yourselves and your colleagues with this poster HERE.
Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put the photos on social media and Tweet them to the Premier so she knows how seriously the PSA and its members take flexible work.
The PSA has also marked the day with a letter to Premier Berejiklian urging her to do more to make the NSW public service, the largest employer in the state, a leader in flexible working conditions. You can read the letter HERE.
The PSA will celebrate International Women’s Day with a demand for greater flexibility in the workforce.
In a letter HERE to Gladys Berejiklian, the second female premier in NSW’s history, PSA General Secretary Stewart Little said our union “seeks evidence that flexible work practices are being effectively and equitably implemented at an agency level”.
On International Women’s Day last year, then Premier Mike Baird made a commitment to make the NSW public sector, the state’s largest employer, a more flexible workplace and hence a better place for women to work.
The onus, according to this plan, would be for management to put up reasons why people could not work flexible hours, rather than have employees have to come up with a case of their own.
“With so many women still shouldering a larger share of caring duties at home, it is vital the NSW Government offers its employees as much flexibility as is possible,” says Acting Women’s Industrial Officer with the PSA, Anne Kennelly.
More workplace flexibility will also allow men to shoulder more responsibility at home.
“Giving men more flexibility in the workplace will also do more to redress the gender imbalance for caring work. Many men want flexible hours to do more at home, but too often are blocked by managers who see it as ‘women’s work’.”
This International Women’s Day, show your support for flexible working conditions with THIS poster.
Domestic Violence is a workplace issue – so it is union business
The PSA, along with unions across Australia, is campaigning for all workers to have access to 10 days’ paid domestic violence leave (in addition to any other paid leave entitlements). The leave could be used to attend medical appointments and court hearings, or to find somewhere safe to live or a new school for children, without the person losing their job.
We are calling on all Governments to work together at the upcoming Council of Australian Government (COAG) to pass a resolution for 10 days’ paid domestic and family violence leave to become a universal right for all workers in Australia. Read the Unions NSW Factsheet HERE explaining the campaign and why domestic violence is a union issue.
What will the PSA be doing
On 6 December, the PSA will be writing to the NSW Premier seeking that he supports the resolution at the December COAG meeting for there to be 10 paid days’ universal domestic and family violence leave. In addition to committing to increase paid domestic and family violence leave provisions from five days to 10 days, and other improvements, for NSW public servants.
Our claim to improve domestic and family violence leave (DFV) provisions
The PSA is seeking the following improvements for our members:
- An increase of paid DFV leave from five days to ten days.
- That DFV leave be paid up front, rather than having to take other forms of leave first. A staff member will still be able to take FACS, sick leave, and sick leave to care for a family member as well as recreation and extended leave, and leave without pay.
- An additional two days’ paid leave if the 10 days are exhausted.
- That a support person be allowed access to paid DFV leave.
- That an agency nominates a trained contact person to provide support to a staff member experiencing DFV.
- That public servants experiencing DFV be offered EAPS by providers who are trained in DFV, and a DFV resource pack.
- That a workplace safety plan be implemented to minimise risk of violence to all employees.
What can you do on December 6
You can demonstrate your support for this very important campaign by:
- Holding a workplace meeting/morning tea to talk about the issue of domestic violence and the importance of paid leave.
- Wearing a purple armband or clothing or something purple such as a ribbon, tie, shirt etc. The PSA will have a limited supply of purple “We Won’t wait” armbands. To order yours please email email@example.com.
- Showing your support by changing your Facebook profile on 6 December to this graphic.
- Take photos of you and your workmates holding the We Won’t Wait poster.
Please tweet to #WeWontWaitDV, share on the PSA’s Facebook page and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Women’s Council will change the PSA logo to purple for the day. Please use this logo in the photos to show your support.
- Let the Premier know why this is an important issue for you by sending tweets to #mikebaird and messages on Mike Baird’s Facebook page.
PSA Annual Women’s Conference 2016
This year the PSA’s Annual Women’s Conference was held at PSA House on 13 and 14 September.
The theme was Connecting the Generations, which proved very popular, attracting around 110 PSA women members to the conference and dinner.
This year’s theme focused on the relevance of unions to women workers at the different stages of their lives and careers.
As with previous years, the conference featured a number of impressive and accomplished women speakers.
Eva Cox, AO, is a writer, feminist, sociologist, social commentator and activist who has long advocated for a more civil society. She spoke at conference for the third consecutive year due to requests from members wishing to hear her speak again. This year, Eva spoke about cross-generational collaborations for making societies more civil.
Marian Baird, Professor of Gender and Employment Relations at the University of Sydney spoke about ‘flexibility across the life-course’. Her talk focused on women’s career paths, how these differ from the standard male career path, due to career breaks for caring commitments and how this affects career progress and superannuation. Marian is an advocate for more flexible working arrangements that recognise women’s unpaid contributions to society and the economy.
Ged Kearney, President of the ACTU gave the closing address. Ged is always a popular speaker and has talked at many PSA Women’s Conferences. This year she spoke broadly about a wide range of issues that are important to women members, including the threat of privatisation and the need for high quality public services.
The panel discussion with women unionists of different ages gave women members attending the conference an opportunity get involved by asking questions and making suggestions. The focus was on unionism across the generations and activating women members of all ages. Many interesting issues were explored by the large group, including the changing nature of the modern workforce (increased casualisation, privatisation, insecure employment) and how unions can adapt.
There were also conference workshops for attendees to choose from, including superannuation, flexible work and stress management. All workshops were equally well attended.
The final highlight of the conference was the dinner, kindly sponsored by First State Superannuation. The dinner provided an opportunity for delegates to meet PSA staff, network with other women members and enjoy a great meal at the York Restaurant. There was also a very informative dinner speech by a representative who specialises in women’s superannuation.
The next Women’s Conference will be in September 2017.
Equal Pay Day
September 8 was Equal Pay Day for 2016.
The national gender pay gap is symbolic of the overall position of women in the workforce. It reflects a range of factors such as pay differences between male- and female-dominated industries and occupations, underrepresentation of women in senior positions, the distribution of unpaid caring responsibilities, as well as discrimination and bias.
Some interesting facts about women’s pay in Australia include:
- The national gender pay gap is 16.2 percent, or $261.10 a week – a reduction of 1.7 percent over the past year.
- On average, men working full-time earned $1,613.60 and women earned $1,352.50 per week this year.
- The NSW gender pay gap is 1 percent (the third worst in Australia, behind WA and NT).
- The gender pay gap in Victoria is the lowest at 12.4 percent.
- The gender pay gap is smaller in the public sector than in the private sector.
- The gender pay gap is smaller where workers are covered by union negotiated Awards.
- The decline in the gender pay gap is due to stronger growth in women’s average weekly earnings compared with men’s. Between May 2015 and May 2016, women’s weekly earnings grew by 3.3 percent and men’s by 1.3 percent.
Registrations are now open for the 2016 PSA Women’s Conference.
This year’s conference will be held on Tuesday, 13 and Wednesday, 14 September at PSA House, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney.
All financial women members of the PSA are eligible to register.
Women who have not had the opportunity to attend this conference in the past are strongly encouraged to nominate.
This year’s theme is: ‘Connecting the Generations’.
Women’s Conference is an invaluable opportunity to meet with other women members, activists and delegates across the NSW public sector, engage in practical training modules and hear from informative speakers.
Special Trade Union Leave will be applied for by the PSA on behalf of successful nominees.
You can register for the conference HERE
Registrations close 15 August 2016.
Please note that registration does not guarantee attendance, as numbers are limited. Successful nominees will be notified after the close of nominations.
The conference program is in draft form and will be updated regularly. The draft program is available to provide attendees with indicative times and session details only. Speakers and training modules are subject to change without notice. To see the draft program, click HERE