The Guardian October 29, 2003

Maternity leave win at Brisbane Council

Brisbane City Council employees have won 14 weeks paid 
maternity leave and two weeks paid paternity leave under a new 
enterprise bargaining agreement finalised last week.

Australian Services Union (ASU) Branch Secretary Julie Bignell 
said the new provisions would be phased in over three years and 
represented a significant step towards a more family-friendly 
work environment.

"We are very pleased that Council has agreed to our claim to 
increase paid maternity leave to 14 weeks, which meets the 
standards set by the International Labour Organisation", Ms 
Bignell said.

"This is a significant gain that will improve the balance between 
work and family responsibilities for many of our members.

"This agreement will set a new standard for other workplaces 
across Queensland, and our union is committed to extending these 
conditions to all of our members", said Ms Bignell.

Eligible employees would also be offered the alternative of 
taking up to 28 weeks maternity leave on half pay.

The ASU thanked Brisbane Mayor Tim Quinn, and said Brisbane 
Council had set an example on how paid maternity leave and other 
family-friendly initiatives help retain talented and experienced 

Other gains for Council workers under the agreement include:

* a pay increase of 3.9% backdated to July 1, 2003 and a further 
increase of 3.9% on July 1, 2004;

* job security through com-mitments to no forced redundancies and 
restrictions on the use of outsourced labour; and

* improved career development and advancement opportunities.

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