Equal pay group to campaign for secure work

April 19, 2012

Pay Justice Action released the statement below on April 19.

* * *

Pay Justice Action (PJA), a grassroots activist group campaigning for equal pay, applauds the initiative of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) for making insecure work a focus for the whole union movement.

PJA was among the many organisations and individuals to make a submission to the ACTU initiated inquiry into insecure work. These jobs include casual and fixed-term employment, seasonal work, contract work and labour hire. The ACTU inquiry found that 40% of all workers have insecure jobs.

Anthea Stutter, a campaigner with Pay Justice Action and a union activist in the public sector, said: “Insecure work is one of the factors that contribute to the gender based pay gap. It’s a disgrace that women earn on average 17.8% less than men. A key factor contributing the inequity is the over representation of women in industries that rely heavily on insecure work, such as hospitality, cleaning, retail, call centres, interpreting and teaching.”

Alison Thorne, another PJA spokesperson, who is a delegate with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), spoke about her own industry. “Many people think that the public service provides secure jobs. Wrong! Eight percent of the Australian Public Service is employed on a non-ongoing basis. These workers face a bleak future as public service jobs dry up due to savage budget cuts including an increase in the cynically named ‘efficiency dividend’ from 1.5% to 4%.”

PJA is backing the Better Jobs Secure Work campaign and is calling on the union movement to organise an activist style campaign at the upcoming ACTU Congress in Sydney from May 15 to 17. Thorne said: “We want to see a democratic campaign that gets beyond social media; focuses on workplace organising and puts feet on the street.”

PJA has designed a postcard to enable rank and file unionists and community members to tell the ACTU they stand ready to take action for job security. Amelia Taylor, another CPSU delegate involved with the campaign, said: “The drive to make more and more jobs insecure is a race to the bottom. All working people have a stake in this campaign. We believe that when we fight for the needs of the most vulnerable workers, we improve the position of working people as a whole.”

PJA is launching its insecure work postcard at a public event on May Day - Tuesday, May 1 - at 6pm in Elms Family Hotel, 269 Spring Street, Melbourne.

[For copies of the postcard email pay.justice.action@iinet.net.au.]

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.