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Public sector union disappointed as WA government rejects calls for gender affirmation leave

The WA Labor government has rejected calls from the Community and Public Sector Union / Civil Service Association (CPSU/CSA) to allow public servants additional leave for gender affirming processes.

The union says the government’s outright rejection of a proposal for gender leave will leave people working in government out of step with other Australian workplaces such as universities, local government organisations and other state’s public sectors.

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The union has proposed allowing an annual 30 days of non-cumulative leave for permanent and fixed term eployees who wanted to undergo a gender transition.

They also proposed staff having the option of a further 48 weeks unpaid leave which would have been available to all public sector workers employed under the Public Sector CSA Agreement, which would have also included casual staff.

CPSU/CSA Branch Secretary, Rikki Hendon, said this was a simple and measured opportunity for the Government to build supportive public sector workplaces for Western Australia’s transgender and gender-diverse community and strongly urged the government to reconsider.

“The CPSU/CSA was deeply disappointed not to see any form of gender affirmation leave in our first offer for a replacement to the Public Sector Civil Service Association Agreement 2022, an agreement which expired last week.

“Gender Affirmation Leave is increasingly becoming the norm in workplaces across the world, and goes a long way to foster a welcoming and inclusive workplace environment for transgender and gender-diverse workers.

“I strongly urge the Government, when they return to the bargaining table, to recognise the importance of providing Gender Affirmation Leave to public sector workers and reconsider this item.

“Ignoring this claim would see the WA Public Sector fall behind other public institutions and the private sector.

“Our members will now commence rolling campaign action across the state to build pressure on the Cook Government to deliver a pay and conditions offer that safeguards and supports our public services by making the public sector an employer of choice.” Hendon said.

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