The Australian Services Union takes on big challenges to make a difference in members’ lives.

One of the challenges we’ve taken on is to reduce the retirement income gap that working women experience. In retirement, women average about half the retirement savings than men.

And we are msaking reak progress.

One step to closing this gap has been the recent scrapping of the $450/month threshold for the Superannuation Guarantee that has denied many casual and part-time workers superannuation savings.

The ASU has led this campaign – but it wouldn’t have been successful without passionate ASU activists like Adele Welsh, a community sector worker and activist in Victoria.

Adele said our union has never been afraid of having a go. She said this superannuation win is probably the third groundbreaking campaign won by the ASU in the last 10 or 15 years.

The other trailblazing wins Adele mentioned were the Equal Pay case, and the world-first family violence leave in an enforceable industrial instrument at Surf Coast Shire Council.

“It was just so empowering and inspiring for me, as a woman, a unionist, and a feminist, to have played some role in helping lift women out of the possibility of retiring into poverty. It’s just mind-blowing to be part of something amazing like that,” Adele said.

“The reason women do retire into poverty is that we play that really important role of having children, taking time out of paid work to care for children and old or unwell family members. And our female-dominated industries are more likely to be low-paid or casual, and we shouldn’t be returning into poverty just because we play those really important roles and just because we are women.”

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