The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) this week has passed an historic resolution that will see equality in all leadership roles and representation at the peak trade union body.

ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver will draft rule changes that ensure equal representation of women within leadership and on all decision making bodies of the ACTU including:

  • ACTU Congress;
  • ACTU Executive;
  • All other Committees recognised under the ACTU Rules;
  • Within the Officers and Vice-Presidents of the ACTU.

The motion passed unanimously at the ACTU’s final executive meeting for 2016 and the rule change will be put forward at the ACTU Congress in 2018.

Currently, 50% of union members, delegates and union employees are women and the ACTU has an affirmative action rule that requires 50% of executive positions to be held by women.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver:

“As the leader of Australia’s trade union movement I am particularly proud to be championing this change.”

“By ensuring the executive positions are gender balanced, including the Secretary, Assistant Secretaries, President and Vice Presidents; we are guaranteeing female representation within leadership of Australia’s union movement.”

“The ACTU Executive has officers from unions as diverse as the Maritime Union of Australia, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation and the Electrical Trades Union. The fact that this resolution passed unanimously is a tribute to the progressive leadership of unions in Australia.”

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:

“This is not a symbolic rule change; this is an acknowledgment that the ACTU is a gender diverse workplace with a concrete commitment to equality.”

“The ACTU has done extensive research on gender equality in our workplace and within the union movement and this resolution was borne of the fact that we need to be encouraging women into representative and leadership roles across our movement.”