Thousands Turn Out to Demand Equal Pay
8 June 2011 at 4:40 pm
Last month, Fair Work Australia found that SACS workers are paid lower wages than public sector employees doing similar work, and that gender played a role in creating this wage disparity.
However, the tribunal fell short of issuing an equal remuneration order, calling for more evidence to be submitted to determine the extent to which lower wages had been affected by gender.
While the case remains before Fair Work Australia, there is concern amongst SACS workers that government's will refuse to fund a pay rise for the sector. New Liberal government's in both NSW and Victoria have distanced themselves from commitments given by their predecessors to fund any payrise ordered by the tribunal, and the Federal Government warned FWA that a pay increase would mean cuts to services.
Despite cold and wet conditions, a crowd of thousands rallied outside Trades Hall in Carlton, carrying placards calling for Prime Minister Julie Gillard and Premier Ted Baillieu to pay up and fund an increase for SACS workers, as chants of 'We don't want charity, we just want parity' rang out.
Long time equal pay crusader Zelda D'Aprano – who chained herself to the arbitration office in an equal pay dispute in 1969 – addressed the crowd, telling them they will win the fight.
Those who gave evidence before Fair Work Australia on their work and pay conditions in the social and community services sector were praised at the rally as 'equal pay heroes'.
Large crowds turned out at rallies around the nation, with 6 events held in Queensland and 3 events in NSW, as well as others at each state and territory capital.
Read about Fair Work Australia's decision in the pay equity case here: https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2011/05/community-pay-equity-claim-upheld
View Pro Bono Australia's extensive coverage of the equal remuneration wage case here: https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/category/1685