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Suffrage Day a reminder that pay equity is still a dream

19 September 2011

Suffrage Day a reminder that pay equity is still a dream

Political parties need to commit to the principle of equal pay for men and women and back legislation that will turn the dream into reality for women, says the PSA, the public sector union.

“The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1972 and yet the average pay gap between men and women is still nearly 13%,” says Jeff Osborne, PSA Acting National Secretary.

“In the public service, which should be setting an example, the pay gap is greater than in the overall workforce. Women in over two thirds of departments are paid less than their male colleagues.”

Despite being paid less than men, women in the public service are actually working extra unpaid hours. A recent survey conducted by Victoria University for the PSA showed that PSA women members gift nearly two-and-a-half million hours of work annually.

“The monetary value of this unremunerated work, based on the average wage for PSA women members, is around $54.5 million – that’s the equivalent of 1360 full-time jobs,” says PSA Acting National Secretary Jeff Osborne. “If based on the public sector average hourly overtime rate the gift would amount to $90.3 million.”

“The Labour Party’s women’s policy, released today, commits the party to ‘investigating’ legislation and change But the time for investigation is past – we need action, not further deliberation,” says Jeff Osborne.

“It’s been more 50 years since the first equal pay act was passed, covering employees in government service. Will we still be calling for action on Suffrage Day 2061?


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