Domestic violence victims need job security
Rosie Batty joins campaign for domestic violence leave
Australian of the year Rosie Batty has thrown her support behind the union movement’s campaign for all workers to have access to domestic violence leave.
Writing for Working Life, she describes the year leading up to the day that her 11-year old son Luke was killed as a “nightmare.” She says:
“I lost count of the days I spent in court; the hours I spent making statements to police and meeting with lawyers; the time I’d take out of every day following up on things connected to the charges against Luke’s father. It was like having a second job.
Those experiences are why I am strongly supporting the ACTU’s claim to give workers access to domestic violence leave to deal with the many issues that victims of violence have to cope with.”
As many of our members would be aware, the RTBU Tram and Bus Division was one of the first unions to grant workers access to five days of domestic violence leave in our current Bus Operators award (Section 64).
The RTBU’s Women’s Campaign Committee played a big role in achieving this and the clause has since been included in the Salaried Officers award for State Transit.
Domestic violence leave can make a big difference
For many victims, taking time off work without losing their job can mean the difference between staying in a violent relationship and averting a crisis. Job security provides financial independence and a sense of self worth – both extremely important for a victim.
As a union, we’re proud that we have already negotiated domestic violence leave into our award. Now it’s time to stand with unions across Australia to campaign for access to domestic violence leave to be a right for all workers.
Australian of the Year Rosie Batty recently launched ‘Never Alone’ – a campaign which aims to empower women, give children a voice and hold perpetrators accountable.
You can support ‘Never Alone’ campaign here