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Union seeks paid gender affirmation leave for public sector workers

The Community and Public Sector/Civil Service Association (CPSU/CSA) are calling on the WA government to include leave for Gender Affirmation for the state’s public sector workers.

Earlier this month the CPSU/CSA initiated bargaining for a replacement Public Sector Civil Service Association Agreement 2022. One claim includes seeking 30 paid days of Gender Affirmation Leave per annum for WA Public Sector Workers under the CPSU/CSA’s coverage, and access to 48 weeks of unpaid gender affirmation leave, which would also be accessible to casual employees.

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The CPSU/CSA negotiates the pay and conditions of 44,000 public sector workers across Western Australia, nearly a quarter of the whole public sector.

The union has registered a log of claims that includes the aforementioned Gender Affirmation Leave, and headline items of a 7 per cent and 5 per cent pay rise over two
years, a 4-day workweek trial and 18 weeks of parental leave for both primary and secondary caregivers.

The CPSU/CSA is also seeking several equity clauses in addition to Gender Affirmation Leave, including 10 days Disability Leave, 5 days Reproductive Health Leave, expanded access to Cultural and Ceremonial Leave and the introduction of a public sector Pay Equity Review team, to ensure fairness of remuneration across public sector roles and agencies.

CPSU/CSA Branch Secretary, Rikki Hendon, said the union would push the WA Government to enshrine access to Gender Affirmation Leave in its protected industrial agreements.

“In recognition of Transgender Day of Visibility, I’m proud that the CPSU/CSA will continue the work of making public sector workplaces more accepting and accessible; in this instance for the transgender and gender-diverse community of Western Australia. The public sector is more vibrant and knowledgeable when we appreciate and support a greater diversity of people and their lived experiences to feel welcome and accepted in the workplace.

The CPSU/CSA say they have a proud history of supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, including making a submission in the Equal Opportunity Act review and introducing Gender Affirmation Leave for union staff in 2022.

“Enshrining Gender Affirmation Leave in the next Public Sector Civil Service Association Agreement will ensure it is available to tens of thousands of public sector workers. Rights to access the leave will be industrially enforceable and not subject to the whim of employers.” Hendon said.

“This is a crucial step in building better public sector workplaces for the transgender and gender-diverse community of WA. We’re looking forward to discussing and securing this important claim item in negotiations with the state government.

“I encourage all LGBTQIA+ people to join their workplace union, as unions and our membership continue to fight for fairer workplaces and a more equal and accepting society.

Source: Media Release

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