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
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.