NTEU is committed to enhancing the participation and voice of women members. Women hold positions of influence and power at all levels of the Union, are active on the Union's enterprise bargaining teams, and contribute to the development of the Union’s strategy.
The Union has been a leader in many areas concerning women and their professional and employment rights, and provides support for other women through the ACTU and other non-government organisations. NTEU published the first national pay equity study done in Australia, and this has encouraged a broader commitment to pay equity within the labour movement.
At a national level, the NTEU Women’s Action Committee and the biennial Women’s Conference develop this work. The Union publishes an annual women's magazine, Agenda.
‘In short, simple “patriarchy” is a myth, or at least greatly exaggerated. This is proven by the fact that there were many queens throughout history.’ Thanks to the kind Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) who informed me of this, we no longer need to be fighting the patriarchy. Thank goodness! Years of feminist struggle could have been avoided if we had just realised how lucky we were to have Queen Elizabeth I.
In theory, men’s rights activism sounds totally reasonable. Indigenous men are paid far less than their white counterparts, have a much higher chance of ending up in jail and a lower life expectancy. There is a culture of silence around men’s mental health that definitely should be addressed and results in high rates of suicide, there are many diseases that specifically effect those born as men and men are socialised not to seek help and of course many issues surrounding masculinity and a ‘boys don’t cry’
If there was one political gaffe that grabbed my attention recently, it was the unfortunate announcement by Tony Abbott that Australia was ‘unsettled’ prior to 1788. Indeed, my immediate response on hearing this was to be dumbfounded. For some absurd reason I did expect slightly better from our Prime Minister and self-appointed ‘Minister for Indigenous Affairs’, particularly considering much has been made of this man’s ongoing connections with remote Aboriginal communities. Then again as Abbott, and other members of his government have proven, political gaffes are all the rage this
A passion for social justice is what drew Andrea Brown to her role as Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer at Victoria University (VU) and, for almost 20 years, she did a job that she loved. This same passion and commitment also enabled her to simultaneously participate as an active member of the NTEU VU Branch. Andrea is very proud of both her career achievements and her union activism at VU over the last 20 years.
Redundancy and departure from VU earlier this year came as an unexpected blow. Andrea strongly believes that reducing the resources, including the number of staff working in equity and diversity is problematic as equal opportunity is needed now more than ever in the higher education sector. [See Andrea’s article in Agenda, vol. 21, Sept 2013,
The final report of the 2011 Work and Careers in Australian Universities Survey contains disturbing findings on women general staff access to professional development and career advancement. These findings should be considered as NTEU monitors the implementation of clauses on general staff advancement.
The broader aim of the Gender and Employment Equity: Strategies for Advancement in Australian Universities ARC funded research led by Professor Glenda Strachan and co-partnered with the NTEU, was to advance our understanding of existing gender inequalities in Australian universities. Gender inequality in employment persists, despite increasing gender equity policy and program initiatives focusing their attention on work and family.
Noting that there was no modelling in the Budget papers on the impact of the Budget on women, the non-politically aligned National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW), in conjunction with experts from a range of organisations, took on the task of analysing the implications of the Budget 2014-15 through a gender lens.
Like NTEU’s analysis in higher education, the NFAW found the biggest losers from the Budget to be women, irrespective of age, income, employment status, or if single, married/defacto, with or without carer