Rallies Over NSW Delay to Community Sector Pay Rises
Tuesday, 5th June 2012 at 11:11 am
Community Workers are holding rallies across NSW today following claims that they may have to wait up to six years to receive the landmark equal pay increases awarded in February.
Flickr Image: Some rights reserved by Australian Services Union, NSW & ACT
Sector workers are expected to rally outside State MP offices in Newcastle, Blue Mountains and Lismore today in protest over the delay.
The Australian Services Union says NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has moved to try to strip social and community sector workers of their hard fought equal pay increases.
Fair Work Australia ruled in February that workers in the sector should be given pay increases to address the gender-based undervaluation of the community services sector.
However, Australian Services Union NSW Secretary, Sally McManus, said the NSW Government and other employers representing big business have moved to renege on the equal pay increases by delaying them for up to six years.
McManus said the move is a real slap in the face for the 30,000 low-paid social and community service workers across NSW.
“These workers fought long and hard for the right to equal pay. For the Premier to turn his back on them is an absolute disgrace,” McManus said.
“We simply won’t accept this. We’ll be doing everything in our power to make sure workers get the equal pay they deserve.
“The O’Farrell Government accepted the court decision on equal pay, but now it seems he’s willing to pretend it never happened.”
The union says that among the workers to be affected by the government’s decision are disability support workers, workers in homeless shelters, as well as workers in other Not for Profit organisations.
“The Commonwealth Government supports providing workers in the sector with equal pay. They know it’s a vital move in addressing the inequalities in gender pay,” McManus said.
“These equal pay increases are a crucial step forward in closing the 18 per cent pay gap between men and women. This decision shows that the Premier obviously isn’t very concerned about that gap at all.”