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Historic victory in pay equity case for carers

CTU Media Release

23 August 2013

Historic victory in pay equity case for carers

CTU congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union, Nga Ringa Tota for the historic legal victory for thousands of low-paid women workers says Helen Kelly, CTU President.

Helen Kelly says “this result is a huge step forward for the rights of working women. Caregivers and other low-paid women workers will celebrate this finding. This finding shows that for far too long “women’s work” has been under-valued and underpaid.”

“Kristine Bartlett has worked as a caregiver for 20 years. She, like thousands of other carers is earning close to the minimum wage and this finding shows that her pay rate of $14.32 an hour is based on her gender rather than her skills, effort and responsibility.”

“Caregiving is hard physical and emotional work and work that society expects extremely high standards from, yet caregivers’ wages are still low and on average about $10.00 below the average hourly wage rate. 92 percent of the caregiver workforce are women. This result shows that the low pay rates and poor employment conditions in the sector are directly related to this work still being seen as ‘women’s work’. This is blatant and continued undervaluing and underpayment of the hard work these women do every day to care for our loved ones.”

“This is a huge step forward, but is just the first step. It is a great boost for women workers and their unions to argue against pay rates being determined by the fact that the women workers are working in female-dominated occupational sectors.”

“We are supporting the SFWU and other unions who represent caregivers in this long awaited process for equal pay for worker of equal value for caregivers.”


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