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News News Historic wage victory for low paid community sector workers

The Pay Up - No More Lip Service to Equal Pay campaign run by the Australian Services Union (ASU) on behalf of Community Sector Workers won an historic victory with a decision by Fair Work Australian.  See opinion from Simone McGurk click here

Community Sector workers are undervalued and underpaid. Their work has traditionally been seen as "women's work" and their wages have been restricted as a result. The ASU is working to change this and see that these workers are properly valued for the vital role they play in our society.

The ASU, with the support of the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions) lodged a test case in Fair Work Australia using the new Equal Remuneration Laws embedded in the Fair Work Act.

The Community Sector is largely reliant on Government funding to run its essential services and to pay the wages of the workers. Winning the case has proven that these workers have been undervalued. Now workers need Governments to fund the outcome of the case to make Equal Pay a reality. ASU members and supporters will campaign for the funding and we invite you to get involved by visiting the PayUp! website.

The decision of Fair Work Australia may be had from here:

Commenting on this case Simone McGurk, Secretary of UnionsWA said: “Unions and community groups won this fair wage decision for women in the not for profit sector, without support from the Barnett Government. 

“This decision will set a precedent for wage decisions for other low paid women. 

“Many millions of dollars in additional funding will be needed from the Barnett Government.  The process for determining needed funding should be transparent and ensure these are passed onto low waged workers in the community sector.  The Barnett Government did not support this pay decision, but should pay it fair share.”

  ACTU President Ged Kearney said the decision ended decades of undervaluation of the work of women in the sector.

“Unions worked hard to fight this case on behalf of 150,000 Australian workers who do this very important, yet clearly undervalued work,” Ms Kearney said.

“The decision to properly value the work of the majority female workforce who look after the homeless, the disabled, refugees, domestic violence victims, children at risk and other vulnerable people in our society is a credit to workplace reforms introduced by the Labor Government. 

“The Federal Labor Government has shown enormous leadership here, fully awarding its share of the funding, with a $2 billion commitment. Now those state and territory governments who have not already committed to their share must do so.


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