Wednesday 08 March 2023
This International Women’s Day the Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association wants to recognise the efforts of hard-working women who are fighting for equality in the workplace and actively working towards smashing the gender pay gap in Australia, particularly in Western Australia.
Women who join together in solidarity and undertake collective workplace organising and action through their workplace union win more entitlements, conditions and pay for women across the country, as we’ve seen in the outcomes that will primarily benefit women recently negotiated for in the Public Sector CSA Agreement 2022.
Wins recently won by CPSU/CSA members include an increase in superannuation payments on unpaid parental leave from 12 weeks to 24 weeks, an agency-based or cross-sector gender pay equity review mechanism and three days compassionate leave for early pregnancy loss.
In addition to these sector-wide wins for women under CPSU/CSA coverage, after five years of member-led organising, action and meeting with decision-makers, Family Support Officers (FSOs) working for the Western Australian Department of Communities won a pay reclassification from level 1 to 2.
FSOs are a majority women workforce, and their reclassification recognises the invaluable work they perform to support WA’s child protection workers, vulnerable children and their families. The reclassification of their role will now see full-time FSOs earn up to an additional $10,000 per year.
CPSU/CSA Branch Secretary, Rikki Hendon, said this reclassification and the sector-wide wins were prime examples of why it’s important for women to find their collective bargaining power by joining their union.
“Over the past five years, increased union membership and participation in union processes among Family Support Officers have supercharged their efforts to secure themselves permanency, an increase in potential contracted hours, and most recently, pay reclassification.
“With WA’s gender pay gap at a horrendous 22.1% in November 2022, this is an important step forward in addressing wage inequality in this state and the public sector, alongside the other new conditions such as increased superannuation on unpaid parental leave and the gender pay equity review.
“I understand the importance of women finding our collective voice and power in the workplace, and this shows what we can achieve when we band together to fight wage inequality. If we want to comprehensively tackle wage inequality in Western Australia, I encourage all women to join their union.”
- The CPSU/CSA is the union for WA public sector workers ranging from child protection officers to driver’s licensing assessors.
- The CPSU/CSA negotiates the pay and conditions of over 40,000 Western Australians.
- In 2021-22, almost 75% of Western Australian public sector workers were women.
- We can potentially arrange an interview with a union member who took part in union action last year if you would like to add more to this piece.