Have a happy and safe holidays: Best wishes from Women’s Council - Public Service Association

Have a happy and safe holidays: Best wishes from Women’s Council

Council Message - Dec 2020 (PDF version)

What a year it’s been! This year marked the 90th year of the PSA/CPSU NSW Women’s Council and its proud history of building our collective strength in our women-dominated workplaces.

No-one could have expected what occurred in 2020. A global pandemic and the first recession in a generation are now our reality. We face a wage cut imposed by the NSW Coalition Government (which will worsen the recession), upheaval in our sector and a new normal that means our workplaces and lives look very different to this time last year. Even today, we wake up to news that the hard work we all put in to stopping COVID-19 might need to resume.

A lot of the ways we planned to celebrate our 90th together were impossible this year due to COVID-19, but we did manage to find new ways to celebrate together, including:

  • The work creating then launching of the ‘What Women Want’ report and subsequent webinars, launch, and publication
  • A union domestic and family violence support package, including a digital build, policy changes, and partnership work to better support members
  • Donations to Gidget House to support members experiencing postpartum depression
  • Three screenings (digital and in person) of Women of Steel for members
  • The naming of the Jean Arnot library
  • Ongoing social media highlights.

Our 90th year celebrations will continue into 2021.

Women’s Council held a planning day, which focused on the data from the ‘What Women Want’ survey and included in-person workshops on how to organise on a women’s issue. The Reconnect Project visited us and talked through how mobile phones can be used to organise workers, help domestic and family violence survivors, and assist the environment.

Women’s Councillors who were able to attend in person planned workplace activities and were briefed on how their workplaces are going with organising members and growing power. We plan to do more of this organising work and build on the advances we have made, for example by continuing our very popular webinar series.

As a union, this year we have made advancements for women in workplaces, both individually and collectively. Because of the hard work of Women’s Council members, CPSU NSW members (in the Federal system) now have access to stillbirth leave. While this leave does not meet the high standard set by the Ausgrid agreement, it is a welcome start and the culmination of a long process of member advocacy.

We also saw a positive announcement of gender-neutral parental leave in the NSW Budget. While details are short, the PSA has already begun working to make this into an entitlement in 2021.

Our union continued to grow and our Women’s Council have been supporting of this work, and we want to thank you for all your support and unity this year.


Enjoy the festive season and see you in 2021,
Women’s Council Executive


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