At National Council 1/2005 the new rules included the following references which now require the promulgation of additional union policy.
The relevant rules are set out below:
Part 1 Governance 1.1 – Government of the PSU Group
1.1 c. In accordance with any union policy, governing bodies will:
(i) Be representative of the diversity of the PSU group membership; and
(ii) Recognise women as a majority in most workplaces and within our membership.
In addition, Part 2, Operations included the following reference:
2.1 – Operations of the PSU Group
a. The PSU Group will operate through means of:
(i) Workplace Delegates, Deputy Delegates, Representatives and Contacts;
(ii) Organising Committees;
(iii) Membership consultation and meetings;
(iv) Section Councils (where established) and Section Executives (where established); and
(v) the Executive Committee
b. The PSU Group will be assisted in its operations by:
(i) National Officers
(ii) Section Secretaries; and
(iii) Staff appointed by the National Secretary
c. In accordance with any union policy, operational bodies, will:
(i) Be representative of the diversity of the PSU group membership; and
(ii) Recognise women as a majority in most workplaces and within our membership
The CPSU acknowledges that its ongoing relevance and success in representing the interests of workers in our industry means that an important element of our strategies for growth and renewal has to be to:
Recognise that our governance and activist structures and union workforce should reflect the diversity and gender balance of the workers we represent; and
That this requires a culture that recognises and utilises the real value of the contributions of workers from different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives; and
That the successful implementation of a diversity and gender balance policy is reliant on the creation of an inclusive organising environment where workers, members and our paid employees feel valued and supported and are encouraged to meet their full potential.
The CPSU recognises the great contributions which continue to be made by all its activists and leaders. However, it recognises that in many cases, the makeup of its activist and leadership groups does not yet reflect the gender and diversity balance in its membership. The CPSU therefore wishes to encourage all its members, including current leaders and activists, to work to a consistently representative balance.
Women workers now comprise the majority of workers in our industry as well as comprising the majority of members in our union. Therefore the application of balance in representation should aim to create a leadership reflective of our membership.
For the purposes of this policy the term Diversity will be applied in a broad sense and will include all Equity seeking groups such as Women, Indigenous, Non English Speaking Background and Lesbian and Gay workers. It should also be used, where appropriate, to include different age groups, skills sets and groups of workers such as shift workers or workers who are located in remote regions.
Composition of Governing Bodies – check list
In order to ensure the elected framework of the union genuinely reflects the diversity and gender balance of the membership the following check list should be used to assist in creating opportunities for balanced representation.
Check List for creating balanced representation
Multi-member electorates (eg an electorate with two representatives – 2 Vice Presidents, two section councillors) may be created where it may assist to ensure balance is achieved between male and female representatives;
At all levels of representation, where members are elected to either a specified honorary or full time position, every endeavor should be made to encourage a gender balanced group of candidates to nominate;
Candidates should also be encouraged to stand for election that are broadly representative of the electorate they represent including shift work, age range, racial background, skill sets and professional qualifications etc;
An active and supportive mentoring network should be established in each Section Council to identify, encourage and support the development of new workplace leaders. Reports on innovative projects and progress should be made as a minimum on an annual basis at Section Council by the Section Secretary;
Section Council meetings should incorporate a regular report on diversity and gender balance statistics of the ratio of Agency membership to Section office holders and identified workplace leaders (delegates, deputy delegates and activists) to assist in analysing target areas for change and development.
Standard Organisational Benchmarking and reporting
An annual report on diversity, gender profiles and activities across the Union will be tabled by the National Secretary to each in-face meeting of Governing Council. A report on diversity, gender profiles and activities across the Union will be tabled at each in face Executive Committee by the National Secretary and distributed to all Governing Councillors.
A gender and diversity staff workforce report including gender balance, classification levels, age profile, promotions and turnover statistics will be tabled annually by the National Secretary to Governing Council. A report on gender and diversity of the union workforce will be distributed in writing to each Executive Council meeting and distributed to all Governing Councillors.
A Key Union Behaviours framework to be developed in consultation with staff to support, develop and uphold the objectives of the Union.
Operations of PSU Group
Campaigning, Bargaining and policy innovation
Ensure that all bargaining framework agendas are regularly reviewed and are responsive to workforce gender and diversity related issues such as;
Adopt a four year campaign to heighten awareness of the risks associated with breast cancer and negotiate paid leave for mammography screening.
Adopt a four year campaign to heighten awareness of the risks of diabetes and negotiate health prevention initiatives.
Create awareness about pay equity through research, disseminating statistics and information about wage gaps, training of members and union officials;
Ensure that identified pay equity issues are included in collective bargaining agendas;
Ensure that all pay equity campaigns have clear phases addressing member and organiser education, targeted activation and ongoing processes for the identification of organising opportunities (eg performance pay, access to HDA, selection bias).
Issue identification and campaigning
Conduct an annual cross industry survey, for example “Ask a working woman”, which identifies and tracks key issues for working women in our industry and sectors.
Identify and promote specific campaigns of relevance to labour hire, casuals and part-time workers as they shift to or from full time or part time work.
Section Council and Workplace Organising Committees
Check list for achieving gender balance and diversity
All bargaining framework claims should include identified gender issues. This should be achieved by carrying out participatory consultations with women workers, through meetings or surveys to identify and formulate a list of priority issues for inclusion in collective negotiations;
Members of diverse groups within the workforce should be included on collective bargaining committees;
Highlight issues of discrimination at the work place in local campaigns;
Create informal networks of diverse groups of members to encourage participation and innovation in building and responding to local industrial issue;
Provide fair and equal opportunity for young women to participate in identifying workplace issues and in decision making;
Discuss and agree on special days or weeks of action designed to highlight the issues of particular groups of workers including for instance, “Young women worker’s Day”; “Shift Workers Day”, “Mature Age Workers Speak Out” etc.
Education and Training Education and training for Section Councillors and Workplace Leaders should include the following:
Ways to make women members more visible in leadership roles and in recruitment drives;
How to identify and address the specific needs of women workers in general or of targeted groups of women;
How to Organise events during which all workers feel comfortable and are encouraged to participate (study groups, debates, seminars and training sessions);
Access to mentoring programs.
Education and Training for our union workforce should include the following:
A standard induction process for new staff to incorporate ‘diversity’ training and awareness of standard EEO parameters and behavioural expectations;
Mandatory “ gender and diversity’ training for all staff;
After finalisation of performance management and classification initiatives, all supervisors (officials and leads) to attend training on staff management and development.
Appropriate cross cultural awareness training for all relevant officials and staff;
MSC organisers to be trained and have specific information for members who require referral to legal and financial support in relation to equity seeking groups e.g. domestic violence, sexual harassment, gay and lesbian issues.
Occupational Health and Safety Education and training for Occupational Health and Safety officers and committees should address the prevention of sexual harassment, bullying and other forms of harassment, eg against gays and lesbians and ethnic groups;
Staff selection, recruitment and retention policies
The gender and diversity characteristics of applicants for organiser positions should be reviewed regularly to ensure both the selection criteria; advertising and position descriptions attract a suitable range and quality of applicants.
Filling of staff vacancies – review current template and include information on the predominance of women in our membership and the workforce we represent. “We have a predominately female membership”, or ”the majority of our members are women”.
A centralised reporting system be established to monitor the gender balance of applicants for all future vacancies.
All interview panels to include at least one woman.
A standard exit interview template to be produced. Results of interviews conducted to be reported to the National Secretary for summary and inclusion in reports to the Executive Committee and Governing Council.
The National Secretary to develop and implement a strategy to target specific developmental opportunities for women staff that have completed their second year as a field organiser, including portfolio rotation aimed at the development of specific skills in bargaining, project management and campaign leadership skills. A specific mentoring program should also be created for this group.
A demonstrated ability to develop women activists and appropriate diversity balance amongst activists to be included as a criteria for promotion from Organiser Level 2 to Organiser Level 3.
Organisers performance benchmarking
The introduction of standard organisational benchmark reporting will allow the setting of agreed targets for organisers in recruiting and developing workplace leaders. These targets to be incorporated into organisational planning processes including campaign planning. Specific, measurable outcomes can then be assessed in relation to such outcomes as:
participation and leadership of target groups in bargaining;
participation in advanced workplace leadership roles
mentoring and development of other activists;
creation of opportunities to transition into organising roles
Profile and recruit women organisers who have similar age and experience profiles to target workforce groups to enhance ‘like to like’ organising and campaigning outcomes;
Investigate means to determine current members who identify as Indigenous and amend membership form to include a box to enable self-identification as indigenous;
Acknowledge traditional land owners at the commencement of all official CPSU meetings.
All CPSU internal instructional material (e.g. team bargaining guides, training material and operational guidelines) to include reference to gender and diversity balance. This should incorporate and identify actions in relation to issue identification, organising opportunities, activist development and representative structures.