CTU MEDIA RELEASE
19 September 2006
Suffrage Day Requires Action on Ending Pay Discrimination Against Women
“Women continue to earn 14 per cent less on average than men. The pay gap persists because of problems such as occupational segregation, undervaluing of work primarily done by women and discrimination," said Carol Beaumont, CTU secretary, on Suffrage Day today.
“Earlier this year when the minimum wage finally crossed the $10 mark, 91,000 workers got a pay rise, 61,000 of whom were women."
"61,000 working women should not have to rely on the minimum wage increases to see a pay rise, and unions will continue to campaigning for justice in wages for all working women."
“Women in industries such as care giving are paid at appallingly low rates – caregivers who have decades of work experience in the sector are on $11 an hour or less.”
“It is intolerable that thousands of workers in this sector depend on increases in the minimum wage to get any movement in pay, and the CTU noted Pete Hodgson’s commitment yesterday that money will come to the sector in next year’s budget.”
“As well as pushing for a lift in wages in feminised industries such as caregiving and cleaning, unions also want to increase participation for women in areas where they have been traditionally underrepresented, including through targeting women’s access into modern apprenticeships.”
Unions were also working hard at both getting more women as union members, and increasing the participation of women at all levels in unions, Beaumont said.