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 employees. 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.