A key role that TEU women activists can play is to support the strategic use of the negotiation processes involved in bargaining for a collective agreement (CA) to progress gender equity.

Collective agreements (CAs) are agreements between your employers and your union which set out pay and work conditions for workers covered in your organisation and prescribe the ways key processes that impact your work should occur (e.g. Leave entitlements, promotion criteria and processes, salary scales, hours of work, health and safety processes, organisational change processes).

Your mahi as a women's representative can involve getting “gender on the bargaining agenda” by putting up claims for consideration that will make a positive difference to members' lives at the same time as reducing the inequality in-built into our institutional systems and processes.

Two actions you can take right now

  1. 1.

    Obtain a printed copy of your collective agreement via your branch and keep it handy on your desk. When members ask you a question about their rights regarding pay and conditions refer to the collective as a first step.

  2. 2.

    Now you have an accessible copy of your collective, read it! Think through any areas that could be improved to further progress gender equity.