Community Sector Workers Rally
Thursday, 10th June 2010 at 2:17 pm
Thousands of Community Sector workers and their supporters have rallied across Australia in support of a claim for equal pay.
The marches were organised by the Australian Services Union (ASU) which represents community sector workers. The Equal Pay Day of Action has been set to highlight the issue of equal pay where the Union says a shocking divide of inequity still remains.
It says women in full time paid work earn 18 per cent less on average than men, which equates to $1 million less over a lifetime.
The Australian Services Union’s test case with Fair Work Australia was lodged in March and will address lower pay among community sector workers, who are the professionals that Australians rely on in times of individual or community crisis.
The ASU Assistant Branch Secretary, Lisa Darmanin, who addressed the Melbourne rally in Federation Square, says women who work in this sector are often engaged at the frontline of crisis, trauma and community care.
She says issues like family and domestic violence, child abuse and homelessness are all in a day’s work for these women and yet they are paid 37 per cent less than those doing the same job in the public service and hospitals.
Darmanin says the test case with Fair Work Australia is an important first step in the push for equal pay and it is a disgrace that the gender of a child can make $1 million worth of difference over a lifetime.
Late last year, the Deputy Prime Minister made an historic deal with the the ASU agreeing to support community sector workers in an equal pay test case with Fair Work Australia.
The landmark test case is set to affect 200,000 community workers and is seeking to increase weekly pay by $100 or 25 percent.
More photos from the rallies: http://www.flickr.com/photos/asu-national/sets/72157624118013207/