The union representing parliamentary and political staff in Parliament House, the CPSU, welcomes today’s acknowledgment of bullying, sexual harassment, and violence in Parliament House.
It is a hard and challenging day for many current and past parliamentary workers, the CPSU believes them and stands in solidarity with them.
Today’s statements are not the end of the issue, acknowledging a problem is but the first action of many that must be taken to see meaningful change.
The implementation of all the recommendations from the Jenkins Report is essential, actions and funding to address the identified issues will be the real test.
Parliamentary staff across MoPs and Parliamentary Services are concerned that the proposed changes to legislation and policies have not been seen. It is essential that workers and their union are at the table to ensure changes are practical and long lasting.
The Jenkins and Foster Reports laid 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.
Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary said, “Today will be a hard day for many survivors of sexual harassment, violence and bullying, especially those who have worked in parliament. It is a first step in acknowledging the ways that power is misused in vile and predatory ways.
“But the words spoken by male political leaders will mean little until implementation is a reality. It is essential that staff are involved in the process, and that this report is not just used for a marketing fix up. The Morrison Government must implement all recommendations of the [email protected] and Jenkins Report.
“Workers in Parliament House deserve a safe and respectful workplace, just like any other worker. CPSU members have been pushing for the government to make safety a priority for years. We hope that this is a watershed moment, and that all parliamentarians take personal responsibility to ensure action is taken.
“Our members expect to be involved in the implementation, and will continue to push politicians to treat this issue with respect and not just as a political issue.”
Read the CPSU Submissions to Jenkins Review here.
Media contact: Alex West - 0427 359 316