Negotiations for a new workplace deal covering parliamentary staffers are a chance for the federal government to make Parliament House safer, the main public sector union has said.
Community and Public Sector Union officials are expected to meet this morning with the Department of Finance to discuss a new workplace agreement after parliamentary staffers rejected a proposed deal in December.
CPSU national secretary Melissa Donnelly said the government could make Parliament House safer today by accepting union members' proposals to better protect staffers from sexual harassment and bullying.
It should also develop risk mitigation plans in consultation with workers and implement recommendations of the Respect@Work report by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins that was handed down last year, Ms Donnelly said.
"Today's bargaining meeting is a clear test of leadership for the government, are they all talk, or will they take real practical steps to protect its staff, and women in workplaces around the nation?" she said.
The union representing staffers in ministerial and parliamentary offices has been negotiating a new agreement with the Department of Finance since last year, but a proposed clause covering gendered violence and sexual harassment was rejected by the government without discussion early in the negotiations.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham on Wednesday said the government was committed to hearing and discussing issues related to workplace safety with all representatives as part of the ongoing bargaining process.
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet deputy secretary Stephanie Foster was finalising work on an improved complaints handling process for workplace allegations and options for the introduction of mandatory training for staff, Senator Birmingham said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: