Tuesday 25 June 2024

Contact 1800 772 679

Contact 1800 772 679

The magazine of the Public Service Association of NSW and the Community and Public Sector Union (NSW Branch)

Recent Wins Add To A Proud Past

Recent Wins Add To A Proud Past

Every victory we have contributes to an amazing legacy.

Recent months have been exciting times for our union.

We have had wins bringing the pay for our School Psychologist members in line with Counsellors. More of our members in schools have been released from insecure roles.

We have had high-level ministerial meetings over budget cuts, ensuring our education staff are spared job losses.

We have won concessions over the prison mothballing program sprung on us without consultation.

We have won backpay for individual Disability Support Workers and members in Multicultural NSW, unpaid uniform allowances for General Assistants and supported dozens of members in unfair dismissal cases.

The financial windfalls these wins achieve are important, but there is also a sense of pride that a wrongdoing or an injustice has been righted. Every victory our union has instils more pride in all our members as every victory is a result of our collective efforts. We should all take pride in the wins we all own.

Every pay rise we have won since 1899 has been due to our union. Without a union behind them, our members would get nothing.

In 125 years, we have come so far. We have overturned rules, such as the bar on married women in the Public Sector, that would be inconceivable to our members today. We have convinced our employers that men and women should be paid equally, even if the execution of this ideal has often been less than perfect. It was unions such as the PSA CPSU NSW and trailblazing members such as Jean Arnot that forced this change for the better.

Today we arrive at our wins in a different manner. Whereas once the PSA was bogged down by an Edwardian-era reluctance to get involved in politics, today we are happy to campaign to change governments and call upon ministers to demand a better deal for our members.

Today we also have different councils advising us to make better decisions for a membership far more diverse than the PSA of 1899. We are closing in on 95 years of Women’s Council, and led the way in forming an Aboriginal Council to advise our union leadership.

Today, our Pride and Youth bodies add to these diverse voices.

Reserved roles for First Nations workers, domestic and family violence leave, gender assignment leave, lactation breaks, study leave, rights to work from home, flexible hours; these are just some of the conditions and benefits we have won that would make our workplaces unrecognisable to our union’s founders.

But the founders would recognise our fights for better wages and conditions. They would approve of our recent wins.

They would still be proud to be union.

Our Chance To Listen To You

The event gave us the chance to mark our proud union’s 125 years of fighting and winning for members.

But Conference is also about the future. It gives us a chance to listen to our Delegates, who are our vital link to the members. These ideas are what we will take into future union wins.

We also heard from a broad array of speakers, including Gosford MP Liesl Tesch, who gave us a rundown of her remarkable sporting career and elevation into state politics.

She also reminded attendees of their own power to make positive change by alerting the NSW Government to facilities that could be converted into affordable housing and ease a crisis that is gripping our state.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *