This is the fifth member update in our series on the negotiations for the Local Government (State) Award 2023.
The death of a baby at any stage of pregnancy can be a very sad and distressing time. Even at an early gestation, parents are already busy preparing for a new life with their baby. Suddenly and unexpectedly their plans come to an end.
282 women a day in Australia experience early pregnancy loss before 20 weeks gestation — that’s 103,000 couples a year — with one in four women under 35 experiencing a miscarriage. By age 35, this increases to one in three, while half of all pregnant women over 40 will lose their baby to miscarriage.
The USU is seeking to have Miscarriage Leave included in the Local Government State Award 2023.
“I suffered a miscarriage in 2015.
I started bleeding at work and later that night was told I had lost our pregnancy at 15 weeks. I had to return to work the next day and only my closest friends knew what had happened.
Being able to access even two days of leave would have meant I could have spent time privately grieving for what was lost and had time to compose myself. I 100% support what the USU is trying to do with this clause.”
“I was pregnant for the first time. I was only 8 weeks along. I lost the baby.
On an intellectual level you know that losing a pregnancy will make you sad. What you don’t know until it happens is how devastating it is, how physically painful it can be and the exhaustion it can bring. I wish I had been able to access miscarriage leave. It wouldn’t have taken away my pain and sadness but it would have given me time to try and come to terms with what I had lost and how my body was feeling.
This would fall under the bereavement leave clause and allow those who have miscarried to access paid leave that does not come out of their other leave entitlements. This will provide women who have suffered this loss time to rest and grieve without worrying about what leave to access.
The USU will update our members as negotiations continue.
IT’S EASY TO JOIN
NON MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO JOIN THE USU & JOIN WITH US IN OUR FIGHT TO RETAIN AND IMPROVE WORKING CONDITIONS AND WAGES IN THE 2023- 2026 AWARD.