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Childcare workers deserve a raise, not a pay cut

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says a call to freeze or reduce childcare workers’ pay is an alarming sign that childcare in Australia needs an urgent re-think.

Private sector employers’ group the Australian Childcare Alliance, in a submission to the Fair Pay Commission, has called for childcare workers’ wages to be frozen “if not reduced”, it was reported today.

“The fact that childcare workers are already among the lowest paid in the country is appalling in itself,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

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Greens demand boosts to student income support

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has marked today’s National Day of Action for tertiary students by calling on the Federal Government to boost income support for students in both dollar amount and eligibility criteria.

The National Union of Students organised a National Day of Action today around the theme ‘Demand a better future: less talk, more action’, including a focus on student poverty.

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Sun Herald - By Invitation Only: Parents want help, not hot air

TODAY is Mother's Day in the United Kingdom. As working mums there take time out for a relaxing Sunday morning with their children, they do so knowing their Government recognises mothers' roles in the workforce and the value of paid parental leave.

In Britain, all female employees can expect 39 weeks' paid leave upon the birth of a child. No such luck here in Australia. Here, paid parental leave is guaranteed only to those in the public service, or who are employed by a private employer visionary enough to provide such a scheme.

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LGBTI: Impact of same-sex law reforms on the gay and lesbian community

That the Senate

(a) notes:
(i) the appreciation of the Gay and Lesbian community of the recent passing of the same-sex law reforms;

(b) recognises:
(i) concerns raised by the Gay and Lesbian community that isolated and vulnerable members of the community may only become aware of these reforms after 30 March when Centrelink’s education campaign commences; and
(ii) that the arbitrary timeframe will not allow for same-sex couples to adequately adjust to the removal of discrimination before incurring debt and penalties;

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Childcare: ABC Learning Centres

That the Senate
(a) Notes:
(i) the Government’s second prop-up of $34 million to keep ABC Learning operating until March 31, is due to expire in two weeks time; and
(ii) of the 241 failed centres due to sell or close, only 65 have been sold to date;

(b) Recognises that:
(i) This crisis represents an opportunity for childcare in Australia to transform from a market-driven industry to a vital community service and a government-supported first step in lifelong learning.

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Govt on notice over paid parental leave election promise

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the pressure is on for the Federal Government to introduce a paid parental leave scheme in the upcoming Budget.

Families Minister Jenny Macklin was today presented with a GetUp! petition of more than 43,000 signatures calling on the Federal Government to provide for at least six months’ paid parental leave.

“The Rudd Government is on notice over its election promise of introducing government-funded paid parental leave,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

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Govt backflip on parental leave in six hours

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the Government has backflipped on their position on paid parental leave within less than a six-hour period today.

This afternoon Senator Hanson-Young moved a motion calling for a paid parental leave scheme to be introduced as part of the upcoming Federal Budget, which was supported by the Senate with Labor senators present. This morning, the Government sided with the Coalition to vote against the Greens’ amendment to the Fair Work Bill that also called for a paid parental leave scheme to be introduced in the same Budget.

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Matter of Public Interest: Paid parental leave in Australia

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (1:10 PM) —I rise today to speak about the need for the government to support Australian mums and dads by introducing a paid parental leave scheme in this year’s budget. For more than 30 years, Australian women have been campaigning for the introduction of a universal paid parental leave scheme and yet, in 2009, the clock is still ticking on whether the Rudd government will act on this vital issue of workplace support for working families before the May budget this year.

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Paid parental leave a glaring omission from Fair Work Bill

The Greens say Labor and Liberal have shown they are out of touch with public opinion, by missing the opportunity to enshrine paid parental leave as a workplace entitlement in the Fair Work Bill.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young moved a second reading amendment to the Fair Work Bill this morning to provide for a paid parental leave scheme within it. All seven cross-bench senators supported the amendment, with both major parties voting against.

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