Tudehope guts domestic violence leave for Sydney trains

Unions NSW

The Sydney Trains dispute is now plumbing new depths with Employee Relations Minister, Damien Tudehope, gutting a previously agreed deal to provide 20 days domestic violence leave to employees. On 26 May 2022, combined rail unions , Sydney Trains, NSW Trains and Transport for NSW agreed to the following improvements, based on best practice approaches:

  1. 20 days paid Special Leave for domestic and family violence per calendar year;
  2. Access to leave for casual employees on a pro rata basis;
  3. Ability to take leave without prior approval given the emergency context in which such leave may need to be accessed;
  4. Employees not required to inform the Employer of the tasks they plan to undertake during their leave ; and
  5. Ability for supporters to access carers leave to support a member of their immediate family or household experiencing domestic or family violence.

Minister Tudehope’s department has now revoked the agreement, prompting Unions NSW to write to the Premier to intervene. “Matt Kean and Dominic Perrottet bent over backwards to present an inclusive, women friendly image at the recent state budget. Now we know it was all a mirage,” said Unions NSW Gender Equity Officer, Karen Willis. “The expansion of domestic violence leave was painstakingly negotiated over many hours and days. It was among the best clauses of its type in Australia. But in a fit of petty rage the minister has quashed it. “We know that other ministers in the government support this clause and want to see it introduced. So this is a real test for the Premier, the Treasurer and their commitment to women. Restore the leave and you can lead the nation. “It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Minister Tudehope is engaged in some sort of tacky payback. He really should not be playing games with a provision that was carefully crafted and negotiated to improve the lives of women in difficult circumstances. “We call on Minister Tudehope to see the bigger picture and do the right thing. If he can’t then it’s time for the Premier to take the reins.”

Karen Willis 0419 438 907

Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032

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