The CPSU welcomes the publishing of the Jenkins Review, which lays bare issues that CPSU members have been consistently raising for years, such as the need for improved supports, mandatory training, and an independent complaints process.
The work our members do for our democracy is so important, but as reflected in this report the parliament has significant power imbalances, which allows bullying, sexual harassment, and sexual assault to fester and go unpunished.
Implementation for the review is in question, as zero funding was announced today by the Prime Minister, it is essential that there is practical application of key recommendations, and this requires more than words.
Many of the recommendations are the very same recommendations that CPSU members have been calling for, including:
- Training on respectful workplace behaviour, people management and inclusive leadership for all parliamentarians
- Establishment of an independent Human Resources mechanism to oversee employment practices
- Formation of an independent, complaints process for informal/ formal and anonymous complaints free from political interference, with ability to enforce Code of Conduct and sanctions including in relation to parliamentarians
- Develop capability and professionalisation of MoPS workforce
- Improve representativeness and inclusiveness of parliament and MoPS workforce, and
- Proactive and preventative approach to worker health and safety
Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary said, “Today’s report lays bare the experience of staff inside Parliament. Workers in Parliament House deserve a safe and respectful workplace, just like any other worker. This report exposes, in detail, just how far from reality that currently is.
“CPSU members have been pushing for the government to make safety a priority for years. We hope that this report is a watershed moment, and that all parliamentarians take this report to heart.
“The real question for the Prime Minister is how committed to implementing these reforms is the government. It was very concerning to see an hour-long press conference with zero funding announced. These recommendations cannot be just welcomed, they must be implemented, and that requires funding and long-term commitment.
“Our members expect real resources to implement reforms and recommendations including for staffing, training, and support - because talking about safe workplaces doesn’t just magically make them safe.”