NTEU today is celebrating a century of advances for women, at work and in the community.
NTEU has been at the forefront of advocating for women's rights, both in the workplace and more broadly. We have also worked to improve the work/life balance for higher education staff for a number of years, and in doing we so have won significant industrial outcomes affecting women. In 2003 NTEU (together with other Unions), negotiated the landmark maternity leave provision with the Australian Catholic University (ACU) which allowed for one year’s paid maternity leave, with 12 weeks on full pay and a further 40 weeks on 60 per cent pay.
Since then, advances made by the Union include improved paid parental and maternity leave provisions (now at a minimum of 26 weeks), better leave options for work/life situations (such as carers and adoption leave), nominal caps on academic workloads, and more flexibility in employment arrangements.
However, NTEU knows that there is still much that needs to be achieved, with improvements still needed to the Federal Government's Paid Parental Leave Scheme, better flexible working arrangements for those with carer responsibilities and the need to achieve true gender equity and close the 18% pay gap.
While International Women's Day is a day to mark the achievements of those who have fought so long and hard for the rights of women everywhere, it is also a reminder to us that we have an obligation to continue the fight. Only when all women, everywhere, have the same opportunities and equities as men that can we truely say we have achieved our goal.