It’s Equal Pay Day today!
Dear ASU women,
The struggle for equal pay is something our union takes very seriously. We have been at the forefront of fighting for pay equity for decades. Despite these ongoing efforts, and some great victories in key sectors, overall the pay equity gap is getting worse in Australia and is now 18.2%.
In fact, in 2014 the gap is the worst it’s ever been since the records began back in 1984.
67 days is the extra number of days that a woman in Australia needs to work in order to earn the same amount of money than the average Australian man.
That’s 67 days!
So why are we going backwards?
Because our Governments, both State and Federal, don’t place the same value on work traditionally done by women.
Furthermore the Federal Government is trying to undermine workplace rights by introducing individual contracts called ‘Individual Flexibility Agreements’ or IFA’s. These IFA’s would allow employers to ask employees to trade off key conditions such as penalty rates without compensation.
It might be called ‘flexibility’ but the reality is women who need real flexibility will lose out under such arrangements if forced to give up wages and conditions. These are the kind of policies that saw the pay equity gap widen a further 2% under the previous Workchoices legislation.
To ensure the gender pay gap does not grow even wider under its watch the Government must:
- Maintain a decent minimum wage and safety net.
- Not allow employers to negotiate unfair individual contracts that trade off employees wages and conditions for non-financial benefits such as family friendly work hours.
- Make family friendly work arrangements a right under the Fair Work Act thereby encouraging women to remain in the workforce.
Yours in unity,
ASU Victorian Private Sector Branch