The third Women’s Conference in 1983 was a concrete example of implementing the educational recommendations adopted in the report on participation of women in the PSA. The largest women’s conference with more than 80 participants expressed the mood of a large proportion of the membership.
This provided the momentum for considerable impact on PSA policies. A recurring issue was part-time work. Although the anti-discrimination agreement in the public sector as well as the Working Women’s Charter was endorsed, progress had yet to be made on achieving permanent part-time status regardless of a person’s family responsibilities.
Another crucial topic at the conference was the introduction of new technologies. Women were concerned about losing their jobs since they occupied clerical and typing positions, which were threatened by substituting labour with machines. As a safeguard the PSA negotiated several agreements providing for prior notification and consultation in case of redundancy. Negotiating collective agreements for affected women was complemented by educational efforts of the PSA to enhance members’ understanding of new technologies and associated issues.
Today, the computer is dominating all public servants’ offices and we are facing the introduction of ever new forms of technology and communication. This time it is not a women’s issue per se. It is a cross-cutting issue for all PSA members in all positions