Write a letter to the Editor
On Mother's Day the Abbott government announced its play to cut the paid parental leave rights of new mums and dads. In a couple of weeks the federal Senate will have to decide whether or not they approve those cuts. The vote is going to be tight -- so tight that it will be decided by a handful of cross bench Senators who still haven't declared how they're going to vote, including South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon.
If approved these cuts will take leave time away from 79,000 new families, and drag Australia's paid parental leave policy in exactly the wrong direction.
Can you take 5 minutes to help show the Senator that South Australian voters are deeply concerned about cuts to paid parental leave - by writing a letter to the editor of your state paper?
You can submit a letter to the editor of The Adelaide Advertiser by clicking here.
Tips for writing your letter
You don't have to be an expert writer or policy expert to get published - in fact, the more letters reflect the views of ordinary local people, the more likely they are to interest the paper's editor. Usually, three sentences making your point will be enough.
Looking for some inspiration? Here are some ideas of topics you might want to focus your letter on:
- Why you're personally concerned about cuts to paid parental leave - what impact will it have on your or your family?
- The current government scheme was designed to act as a minimum - a safety net of sorts - that families could then top up with entitlements they have negotiated into their employment contracts. It was never designed as a ceiling.
- Health experts say that 26 weeks is the minimum amount of time parents should spend at home with a new baby to achieve good health and welfare outcomes.
- The government's cut will mean an estimated 45,000 women will be left with the equivalent of just 18 weeks income at the minimum wage to cover all their costs while they care for their newborn.
- People who work in nursing, emergency services, teaching and even the staff at Woolies will be hit hard by this cut - losing out on weeks of income they would otherwise have been able to rely on to support their new family in the critical early care period.
Be sure to mention the fact that South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon will have a deciding vote, and that you hope he'll do the right thing and vote against the cuts!
Once you've sent your letter off, send the team a quick email at email@example.com to let us know, so we can keep an eye on your state paper, and collect all the letters published!