ASU welcomes equal pay ruling

January 31, 2012

Community workers have today been handed long awaited pay rises in a historic decision by Fair Work Australia in the equal pay case.

The case was lodged by the Australian Services Union on March 11, 2010, to address the gender-based undervaluation of the community services sector and deliver long overdue pay increases.

Australian Services Union (ASU) Victorian and Tasmanian Assistant Branch Secretary Lisa Darmanin said this was a day community workers around Australia would never forget.

“We said community sector workers deserve better, so it’s a tribute to each and every member that has contributed to this campaign that after many years of appalling pay this decision finally gives them recognition.

“These workers do crucial work in our communities. As a result of this historic decision they will now receive pay increases of between 23 and 45%, phased in over 8 years. When annual wage reviews are factored in, that will mean increases in the order of 40 to 65% by 2020.”

Darmanin said now it was time for community sector employers and all State and Territory Governments to support the decision.

“The Victorian government submissions in this case have acknowledged their commitment is not enough, which will mean job losses or service cuts to vulnerable Victorians. This is unacceptable and we again call on Premier Baillieu to take positive action and support equal pay.”

In contrast, Darmanin said that the decision, a crucial step forward in closing the 18% pay gap between men and women, would not have been possible without the support of the federal government.

“It is the undervaluing of female dominated sectors such as the social and community services sector that has held back improvements to this pay gap.

“The recent commitment of the federal Labor government to provide the necessary funds for these pay increases was key to the success of this case. We now need Premier Baillieu to put his money where his mouth is on valuing women’s work here in Victoria.

“It has been 30 years since such a significant decision was last handed down for equal pay, but today we have made history. Let’s not let it be marred by Victorian workers and communities suffering as a result.”

[Republished from the Australian Services Union Victorian Tasmanian Authorities & Services Branch website.]

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