More than 90 years ago, a new clause was inserted into the PSA Rules which continues to have a lasting effect on the union to this day. The clause established the PSA Women’s Auxiliary which is known today as the Women’s Council.
All female members of the Association are members of Women’s Council.
Women’s Council is an advisory body to Central Council on issues affecting female members of the Association.
The business of the Women’s Council shall be conducted by a Women’s Council Committee. Women’s Council Committee is made up of elected members along with female members of the Executive and Central Council.
The elected office bearers of the Women’s Council Committee are known as the Women’s Steering Committee .
Women’s Council and the PSA have had many successes over the years in improving the situation of women members.
Women’s Council has worked on issues around:
- job security for women workers and the prevention of the casualisation of women’s work
- pay equity
- ground-breaking workplace rights for victims of domestic violence
- flexible work practices
- purchased leave
- paid lactation breaks for women
- returning from maternity leave.
However, there is always more to do.
WOMEN’S COUNCIL COMMITEE
Women’s Council Committee comprises of 20-24 members elected by financial women members across 10-12 electorates. They are joined by Women members of the PSA Executive or Central Council as ex officio members of the Women’s Council Committee.
The aim of Women’s Council is to watch the interests of the Association’s female members and to consider any question which affects them.
As such, it is important that the Women’s Council Committee has as broad a representation as possible. This includes representing women from male-dominated workplaces, as well as those with even gender balance and those dominated by women. It should also take into account the diversity of roles that women fill in the public service both in positions and wide-ranging Government agencies and employers.
The Women’s Council Committee should also represent the range of workplace locations, including representing workplaces in the city, large metropolitan centres and the country. While many issues are similar, many are different, so to effectively “watch the interests” of all women members, these basic philosophies need to be reflected in the forming of electorates for the Women’s Council Committee.
WOMEN’S COUNCIL STEERING COMMITTEE
The Women’s Council Steering Committee acts as the executive of Women’s Council. The Women’s Council Steering Committee shall consist of
- Vice Chairwomen
- Honorary Secretary
- Assistant Secretary
Elections to Women’s Council Committee shall be held every two years and such elections will be held by 31 October of the Election year. Twenty-to-24 eligible members are elected and representative of the 10-12 electorates.
At the first meeting following the taking of office of the newly elected Women’s Council Committee, the Committee elects the Women’s Steering Committee, from among its members elected.
Meetings of the Women’s Council Committee are held on the second week in February, April, July, September and December. Approval from the Association’s General Secretary is required for funding of additional meetings, or in accordance with PSA Rules.
Women’s Council’s Annual General Meeting is held over two days in September and is referred to as Women’s Conference.
Women’s Council Committee as per electorates. (Elected)
HIGHER EDUCATION – Tracey Doyle, Jin Cho
DISABILITY SERVICES – Faith Dent
OTHER NATIONAL SYSTEM EMPLOYERS – Leanne Smith
STRONGER COMMUNITIES (FACS AND HEALTH) – Rachel Shaw, Melanie Clark
STRONGER COMMUNITIES (JUSTICE) – Judith Ritchie, Trish O’Brien, Kimberley Astbury, Neha Sharma
EDUCATION AND SCHOOLS – Belinda Cooper, Tanya Pople, Carol Erskine, Karen Rogers
CUSTOMER SERVICE – Janice Hartmann, Cassandra Coleman
PLANNING INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT – Vanessa Spitznagel, Carol Rose
PREMIER CABINET AND TREASURY (EXTERNAL TO GOVERNMENT SECTOR) – Michelina Bell
TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE – Michelle Newland
Women’s Council Committee (via Central Council)
Kylie McKelvie – President; Corrective Services, Kirkconnell
Nicole Jess – Senior Vice President; Corrective Services, Silverwater
Wendy Hurry – Vice President; Education Schools, Sawtell
Heather Shields – Justice,
Rachel Smoothy – Disability, Hunter Valley Disability Services
Natalie Howes – Corrective Services POVB, Oberon
Shelley Odewahn – Southern Cross University, Lismore
Sallyann Sullivan – Education Schools, Orange
Suzanne Walsh – Education Schools, Wyong
Tracey King – Education Schools, Lithgow
Julieanne Westacott – Ministry of Health, Sydney
Jodie Stubbs – Police, Queanbeyan
Wendy Jones – Corrective Services POVB, Mid North Coast CC
Tina Cotton – Education Schools, South West Sydney
Joanne Nieass – Education Schools, Western Sydney
Julie Griffiths – Trustee and Guardian, Parramatta
Mary Court – Education Schools, Blaxland
Judith Greenwood – OEH, Sydney
Carmen Wells – CS Community Corrections, Batemans Bay
Cassandra Coleman – Office of State Revenue, Lithgow
Angela Field – Education Schools, Springwood
Heather Dewson – DPIE Water
Women’s Council Steering Committee (Executive)
- Chairwoman – Trish O’Brien – Corrective Services
- Vice Chairwoman – Carol Erskine – Department of Education
- The Honorary Secretary – Janice Hartmann – Service NSW
- Assistant Secretary – Faith Dent – Disability Services