Women@Work May 2015 edition

" target="_blank">Women@Work May 2015 edition (PDF version)

Paid Parental Leave shown to benefit mothers and employers

The Commonwealth Government recently commissioned a consortium of independent Australian academics to evaluate the present Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme.

While this study looked at the existing scheme, many of the findings relate to PPL generally, including employer PPL schemes.

Increased leave taken after childbirth was shown to result in improved maternal and child health, less stress and greater breastfeeding duration.

However, there are also benefits for the workplace and the employer.

The availability of PPL was found to increase the likelihood of women returning to the same job after the period of leave, as opposed to those without PPL entitlements.

They also felt greater attachment to their jobs.

The report does not detail the extent to which saving on recruitment, training, increased morale and productivity, and skills retention effectively offset the monetary costs of PPL.

The full report is available HERE

Women in Male Dominated Industries and Organisations (WIMDOI) Conference

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Women in Male Dominated Occupations and Industries (WIMDOI) conference.

The 2015 conference will be held from 4-6 May at Trades Hall, Sussex Street, Sydney.

The three day conference is aimed at organising and supporting female activists in male dominated workplaces.

It provides a unique opportunity for women in these industries and occupations to hone their organising skills as well as develop tools and strategies to support and protect women and celebrate their achievements.

Please note this is not a PSA course.

Women wishing to attend will need to be sponsored by their employer.

The cost of the conference is $195 per person.

For further information, contact the PSA Gender & Equity Analyst via email at:

May Day

May Day dates back to the fourth of May 1886 when workers in Chicago fought for an eight hour day.

Now, in 2015, with conservative governments at both state and federal levels chipping away at our hard-won rights and entitlements, it has never been more crucial to stand up for what our sisters and brothers fought for.

History of May Day

May Day had its beginnings in the late 19th Century when as the trade union and labour movements grew, a variety of days were chosen by unionists as a day to celebrate achievements.

1 May was chosen to be International Workers’ Day in order to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket Affair in Chicago.

Police were trying to disperse a public assembly during a general strike for the eight-hour workday, when an unidentified person threw a bomb at the police.

The Police responded by firing on the workers, killing four demonstrators.

In 1889, a meeting in Paris was held by the first congress of the Second International, following a proposal by Raymond Lavigne which called for international demonstrations on the anniversary of the 1890 Chicago protests.

May Day was formally recognised as an annual event at the International’s second congress in 1891.

Subsequently, the May Day Riots of 1894 occurred.

In 1904, the International Socialist Conference meeting in Amsterdam called on “all Social Democratic Party organizations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day.”

The congress made it “mandatory upon the proletarian organizations of all countries to stop work on 1 May, wherever it is possible without injury to the workers.”

May Day Rally Sunday 3 May 2015

  • Meet at Sydney Town Hall at 11am
  • Bring friends and posters

PSA International Women’s Day celebrations

The union celebrated International Women’s Day 2015 by hosting a Women in the Union course and a luncheon at PSA House.

On 10 March, women members who attended the course discussed the history of women’s participation in the workforce, union structure, assertiveness, equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws and practices, as well as the rights at entitlements at work won by unions over the years.

The lunch, kindly sponsored by First State Super, provided an opportunity for participants to meet their fellow members and chat with PSA staff.

IWD was an opportunity to remember the integral role unions have played in the fight for women’s rights, including the struggle for equal pay, flexible work, equal employment opportunity, paid maternity leave and domestic violence leave.

International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come as well as what we hope to achieve in the future.

View photos from the event HERE