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Reproductive Health and Wellbeing Leave at the Zelda D'Aprano Union Women Forum

HACSU Assistant State Secretary Kate Marshall spoke about Reproductive Health and Wellbeing Leave at this year's Zelda D'Aprano Union Women Forum. Here is what she had to say:

Pictured above: Kate with her two daughters. Picture: Eddie Jim.

"This leave is for anyone going through menstruation pain, perimenopause, menopause, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, IVF, vasectomies, prostate cancer surgeries, hysterectomies, gender reassignment, whatever you need. We believe you shouldn't take sick leave. You are not sick. Someone who needs a gender reassignment is not sick. We're starting off by asking for five days' leave per year. We're also asking that flexible work arrangements be looked into (e.g. manipulating start times if possible), temperatures in workplaces be monitored for comfort purposes. You're going to get far more productivity from someone if they're comfortable at work."

"We're hoping to get it up in the public sector mental health enterprise bargaining agreement. As far as we know, this hasn't been accepted anywhere else in Australia as yet so we're hopeful that this starts a precedent. We hope that other people pick it up and that this leave grows and grows."

"We've all got reproductive health. We don't want that subject of reproductive health to be taboo or secret anymore. It should be an open conversation and be accepted that that's what some people have to go through." 

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