It is now well known that amongst its many broken election promises, the Federal Government broke Abbott's key centrepiece promise on paid parental leave (PPL). The fact they chose Mother's Day in May this year to announce the death knell of their policy just rubbed salt into the wound of workers planning to start or extend their families, and other workers who had fought so hard over decades to build this important entitlement. Now we need to take action to prevent PPL entitlements being undermined!
The Budget Bill making the cuts to PPL has been referred to a Senate Inquiry and this gives us time to convince Senators to vote against the Bill when it comes before the Senate in the near future.
Women who have accessed both the Government PPL and employer PPL are not double dipping, committing fraud or rorting. They are, in fact, using PPL as it was originally intended:
"The financial support provided by this Act is intended to complement and supplement existing entitlements to paid or unpaid leave in connection with the birth or adoption of a child." (Paid Parental Leave Act 2010)
Before they were elected in September 2013 the Coalition told voters that its PPL proposal was a cornerstone of workplace entitlements but on Mother's Day this year announced that parents accessing those entitlements in addition to existing arrangements would be rorters and welfare double-dippers! They then proceeded to cut what could be accessed.
There is no doubt that Federal Budget cuts to your PPL are a direct attack on ASU members' entitlements. Nearly half of all workers who are currently eligible for the scheme will be affected and the cuts more than halve the benefit that was promised at the election.
Take action – we can stop the Bill to cut PPL
ASU members are urged to sign petitions and participate in actions. Senate opposition to cuts is there and it can be built on with community action. This is a battle that can be won!
Join the ASU and other unions in calling on Senators to vote against the Abbott Government's savage cuts to the Federal Paid Parental Leave Scheme.
Supercharged actions to protect PPL
Our campaign will focus on convincing crossbench Senators to vote against the Bill, so your personal emails, phone calls and visits to their offices are a powerful action you can take to protect PPL entitlements. You can find their contact details here:
- Victoria: Senator Ricky Muir
- Victoria: Senator John Madigan
- Tasmania: Senator Jacqui Lambie
- Queensland: Senator Glenn Lazarus
- South Australia: Senator Nick Xenophon
- South Australia: Senator Bob Day
- New South Wales: Senator David Leyonhjelm
- Western Australia: Senator Zhenya Wang
If you can't email, ring or visit any of them, remember to sign the petition:
You can also participate in other actions by state trades and labour councils:
Watch out for further actions in the near future.
The Government released their Paid Parental Leave Amendment Bill on 25 June 2015. The Bill and Explanatory Statement can be viewed online. The Bill has been referred to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report and the unions will be making a submission to the inquiry.
Labor and the Greens will vote against the Coalition's Paid Parental Leave Bill in the Senate. Minister Scott Morrison will have to convince Senate crossbenchers to pass the cuts. That's why our campaign is focussing on Senators.
What the ASU said about Abbott's Paid Parental Leave Policy before the 2013 Federal Election: "Take care of your workplace rights - think about your vote on 7 September" section: Family policies – it takes more than one policy to help raise a child.