Today saw a fiery clash at the National Press Club employment debate between Michaelia Cash and Brendan O’Connor on the provision of domestic violence leave for Commonwealth public servants.
Canberra’s economy is diversifying, but the federal government remains the largest employer in the ACT.
I know this is an issue that matters to many Canberrans and I am glad to see it elevated to the national stage. It is time for both parties to guarantee that enforceable domestic violence leave will be introduced into all Australian Public Service Enterprise Agreements in a new term of federal government.
Here in the ACT we have included domestic violence leave in our public service employment agreements. We are committed to making sure that victims of domestic and family violence are given the support they need to get their lives back on track, and as an employer we have taken action to put ACT Public Servants in the best possible position to do that.
This commitment has been reflected across the public and private sector, from local councils around the country, to big employers like McDonald’s, Virgin Australia and the National Australia Bank.
It is very disappointing that the federal government is so out of step with these commitments. Access to this leave should be a right for all Canberrans.
I have worked with Michaelia Cash through the National Council of Women’s Safety Ministers. I have found her to be committed to addressing domestic and family violence. It is disappointing that domestic violence leave seems to have been made a bargaining chip in the severe and protracted round of negotiations many public servants have been subjected to.
I encourage all of Canberra’s federal candidates to make a public commitment to ensuring this right is extended to all of our hard-working public servants and ask both parties to commit to ensuring basic protections like domestic violence leave are not made part of future APS wage negotiations.
Quotes attributable to Yvette Berry MLA, Minister for Women.
- Statement ends -
Section: Yvette Berry, MLA | Media Releases
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