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Sunday trading off family time
Monday, 19 August 2013 16:16
Sunday trading off family time
UnionsWA has commented on calls by employers to further extend Sunday trading times and media reports that the Barnett Government is considering options to do so.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary, UnionsWA said:
“During the recent election the Barnett Government made no mention of plans to introduce a further extension of Sunday trading times.  To do so now would be arrogant.
“Family celebrations, religious observances, relaxing with friends and sporting events mostly occur on weekends.
“A further extension of Sunday trading hours would rob hospitality and retail workers, mostly women, of time with family.
“Business has been campaigning hard to get rid of penalty rate, despite the fact there is no evidence this will create new jobs, and plenty of evidence it will hurt low-paid workers.
“Last year when Sunday trading was announced, Colin Barnett voiced his support for reducing penalty rates.
“This year Tony Abbot refused to support legislation to protect penalty rates.
“Penalty rates are just that – a penalty on employers to limit work intruding on shared time with family and in the community.
“Employers asked for Sunday trading, they can afford to factor in proper pay for their staff and they should manage to keep unsociable hours of work to a minimum.
“If Sunday trading is compounded by a reduction in penalty pay workers in retail and hospitality will have to work after-hours more often and work longer to earn the same pay.
“That means less shared time for families.”
UnionsWA has commented on calls by employers to further extend Sunday trading times and media reports that the Barnett Government is considering options to do so.
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WA Gender Pay Gap – sexist not sexy
Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:00
WA Gender Pay Gap – sexist not sexy
UnionsWA has commented on the release today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of data measuring the gap in earnings between women and men nationally as well as in WA.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary, UnionsWA said:
“Today’s ABS release has the gender pay gap in WA the worst in Australia.  On average women in WA earn $479.20 per week, or 26.6% less than men.  Nationally women earn 17.5% less than men.
“As most working people in WA are covered under federal workplace laws, the outcome of the federal election will be central to addressing unfair pay and condition for working women.
“Tony Abbot has got to prove he’s real about women and work.
“The gender pay gap isn’t sexy, it’s sexist.
“In getting a job or determining pay it shouldn’t matter what gender someone is, or how attractive they are judged to be.
“UnionsWA is calling on Tony Abbott to promise not to cut Federal Government funding for an historic case now before the WA Industrial Relations Commission to ensure fair pay for community service workers, mostly women.
“In these traditional occupations such as in health and community services the pay needs to be much better.
“As well as pay our industrial relations system has an important role.
“Employers are running a campaign to take away penalty rates, and in the past Abbot has failed to protect these rates which have an important role in improving the low pay of retail and hospitality workers, mostly women.
“Long, irregular and unsociable hours of work are kept in check by penalty rates.
“Work also needs to be more secure.
“The introduction by the Federal Government of the paid maternity leave scheme and the proposed new right to request flexible work arrangements such as part time work, are examples of how women can be supported to remain in the workforce.
“For women to be earning so much less is not good for workplaces, or for relationships between women and men at home or in the community.
Source: ABS release 6302.0 - Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, May 2013
http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6302.0May%202013?OpenDocument
Note: Ordinary weekly earnings have been used here for women in WA the ABS estimates this at estimated at $1325.50 and for men at $1804.70 in May, 2013.
Meredith Hammat is available for comment.
For more information contact: Philip O’Donoghue 0417 923 029 or podonoghue@unionswa.com.au

UnionsWA has commented on the release today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of data measuring the gap in earnings between women and men nationally as well as in WA.

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Media Release
Employers propose cryonic pay suspension for the poor
Media Release 28 May 2013
Employers propose cryonic pay suspension for the poor
UnionsWA has commented on the start today of proceedings before the WA Industrial Relations Commission for the State Wage case. The case determines wages for more than 100,000 working West Australians, including through the Minimum Wage which applies to an estimated 20,000 unincorporated employing small businesses as well as employees covered by WA State Awards, many of which are low-waged.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary, UnionsWA said:
“Employers want to conduct an experiment in cryonic suspension with a pay freeze leaving WA’s lowest paid suspended in poverty.
“The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA will today try to justify their claim for a pay freeze for the lowest paid in WA, even though they acknowledge that our economy has been growing and they predict it will continue to grow in the years ahead.
“It is just not possible to live with any decency on a low wage that is frozen in time. Over the past ten years the median unit rent in WA has gone from costing 30% of the weekly minimum wage to now consuming two-thirds.
“Increases in the minimum wage have not kept pace with WA’s high essential costs of living.  WA already has the biggest gap between rich and poor of any State or Territory in Australia.”
Professor Rowena Barrett, small firm researcher and Head of the School of Management at Edith Cowan University, has made a witness statement based on research on the impact on small businesses of Minimum Wages.
“The evidence submitted by Professor Barrett highlights that even very small businesses can adapt to pay rises and the minimum wage doesn't lead to fewer jobs but mean greater income equality, in particular closing the gender wage gap.”
Sources
Proceedings for the WA Wage Case will be broadcast live online today, Tuesday 28 May 2013 from 10.00 am at: http://www.wairc.wa.gov.au/Pages/WageCase/2013StateWageCaseStream.aspx . Submissions to the WA State Wage case are now publicly available at http://www.wairc.wa.gov.au/WageCase/SWC2013/
Meredith Hammat is available for comment.
For more information contact: Philip O’Donoghue 0417 923 029 or podonoghue@unionswa.com.au

UnionsWA has commented on the start today of proceedings before the WA Industrial Relations Commission for the State Wage case. The case determines wages for more than 100,000 working West Australians,

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