National CPSU Youth Committee
A group of young Organisers from every state and territory have come together to form the National CPSU Youth Committee to ensure that, as a movement, we empower and activate our young members.
We met in Melbourne to spend a day sharing stories and planning how we tackle recruiting young Public Sector employees as well as creating leadership amongst our existing young members.
Across the country, young Public Sector workers are facing the same issues as everyone in the sector; the constant stress of job security, the normalisation of contract work and the very real threat of privatisation.
Through surveys and research that each branch conducted, we realised we have an exciting opportunity. Young people have experienced a disconnect with Unions, with some young people never being a part of a union or even knowing what a union does for the working community. This allows us to build a narrative, and educate young people about what is at stake if we lose our power to fight.
We must invite young people to be a part of something bigger, give them a louder voice, and activate them as leaders within the movement and their work place.
After a day of planning, in solidarity, we agreed that our priorities of a movement moving forward are clear. We have to make sure young workers and members understand the value of the union, but the union movement must also understand the value of young people.
We believe it is essential to the future of our union that young people are supported and see more mentoring opportunities available through our existing, knowledgeable delegates, building a relationship between the generations within our union and workplace is a priority. We also strongly feel that young members and workers must be imbedded in the decision making structures of our union. We have a voice within the workplace and union but it is often on the fringe, and not given the power to enact change.
Federal Council coincided with Youth Committee Meeting and we were invited to not only attend but present the work we had collaborated on the day prior. Federal Council made us feel welcome, heard our voices and took on our ideas throughout the day. We felt empowered and fired up by the presentations and ideas that came out of the room that day, ready to take them back to our branches and put them in to practice.
The National CPSU Youth Committee is the first step in ensuring that youth issues and young members voices are heard. The future of our movement relies on building up leaders and learning from those who are leaders now. Like any great thing, it will take collaboration and time, but it is vital that we start the journey now.
Isabelle is an Organiser for the Community and Public Sector Union / Civil Service Association.