Australia’s 200,000 community workers do incredibly important work caring for some of our most vulnerable people. Yet incredibly, community jobs are undervalued, often underpaid and not properly respected. Community work has traditionally been seen as “women’s work” and as a result, wages in community jobs have been restricted.
Incredibly, on average Australian women are paid 17 per cent less than men. The pay gap is so big that on average women have to work 63 days more a year just to earn the same income!
In 2010, Unions led by the ASU and supported by the ACTU and the Federal Government are lodging a test case in Fair Work Australia using the new Equal Remuneration Laws embedded in the Fair Work Act. The case will impact the working lives of about 200,000 community workers.
The Community Sector is largely reliant on Government funding to run its essential services and to pay the wages of the workers. Winning the case will prove that these workers are undervalued – but, the case outcome alone will not correct the injustice. Workers need the Government to fund the outcome of the case to make Equal Pay a reality.
You can take action in two ways:
- First (and easiest), visit www.payup.org.au where you can take a minute to send a virtual “kiss” to Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, demanding that the federal government take action on this urgent issue.
- Second, on June 10, a national day of action will be held on this issue. Thousands of Equal Pay supporters will gather across the country at 11am. You should be one of them! Find your nearest event:
Town Hall, George Street, Sydney
Emma Miller Place, Roma Street Parklands
Federation Square, opposite, Flinders St Station
Solidarity Park, opposite, Parliament House
Outside Legislative Assembly, London Circuit, Civic
ADELAIDE Pioneer Women’s Memorial Gardens, behind Government House
Rain Tree Park, Smith Street Mall
This case is set to make history!