More than 60 women from across Tasmania’s union movement came together in Hobart last week for Unions Tasmania’s annual Women’s Conference.
We had a packed day talking industrial reform for women, leadership, reproductive healthcare rights, online organising, and the wins our unions are having for women at work.
Unions Tasmania Secretary Jess Munday set the stage with the new Albanese Government’s industrial relations agenda for women, and the progress on significant reforms coming to employment, discrimination and health & safety laws. This month we also celebrate the passing of new laws which enshrine 10 Days Domestic Violence Leave into the Fair Work Act. Each of these achievements – including the outcome of this year’s election – would not be possible without the hard-fought campaigns by working women built in the community and in the workplace. We’re also indebted to the leadership of brave victim-survivors of family and domestic violence who have shared their stories and their message: to get action, we have to take action.
Conference attendees also heard from a roundtable of workers and delegates on Winning for Working Women. ASU Member Justina talked about the campaign to win backpay, job security and better conditions for women workers at Derwent Valley Council. Judy from HACSU talked about the national HSU Reproductive Leave bargaining campaign. Sacha from the FSU shared stories from the campaign for pay transparency and exposing the gender pay gap in the big banks, and the CPSU’s Dana Endelmanis talked about the CPSU’s very own LGBTQIA+ Advisory Forum and our recently endorsed claim for Gender Affirmation/Transition Leave.
The event was also opened by Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC, Governor of Tasmania and brought to a close with a terrific speech by Australian author and activist Van Badham on engaging online and why social media is a place union members need to be.
We also used the opportunity of the conference to make some noise about the Rockliff Government’s draconian anti-protest laws currently before parliament. As Jess Munday pointed out, not a single right enjoyed by working women could have been won without our right to protest: we cannot afford to lose those rights.
“A lot of the rights that we rely on we had to fight for, and we want to make sure you can keep fighting for those in Tassie.”
Thank you to all of the staunch CPSU women that joined us! If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on next year’s conference or would like to get union active alongside fellow CPSU Women, Click Here to join our Facebook Group and get talking!