Greens call on O'Farrell to act on equal pay after historical win for community workers

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by StreetCorner
16/05/2011

The Greens MP David Shoebridge today called on the the NSW Liberal / National government to support equal pay rates for the predominately female social, community and disability workers following a landmark win by the Australian Services Union ( ASU )for pay equality in this sector.

"The evidence is now in that pay rates in the social, community and disability services industry are lower simply because women do most of this work. The Government must act," said Greens MP David Shoebridge and called on the NSW Government to stop its opposition to the case and support equal pay.

"The ASU case representing workers in the community sector in NSW is a landmark decision for the future of equity and fairness in this country," said Shoebridge.

The Greens have called on the Government to fund the outcome of this case on more than one occasion and in November 2010 both the Coalition and Labor refused to commit the funding the outcome of the case.

See Hansard transcript for what happened in Parliament : http://parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlme...

"At the end of the hearings in April this year Greg Pearce as Minister for Finance and Services in the NSW the NSW submission said the claim "must fail" and suggested it would cost up to $998 million over five years.

"Such scaremongering suggests that we can't afford equal pay. Those in the disability and community services sector know better, we can't afford to not have equal pay. Greg Pearce has said that the Coalition fully supports equal pay – the way to show this is to pay more than lip service," the Greens MP argues.

The Greens want the NSW Government to set an example to other levels of Government in the lead up to the June 8 Equal Pay National Day of Action.

"The question is will the NSW Government now withdraw its opposition to the case and commit to the funding required to deliver pay equity," said Shoebridge.

Should the NSW Government fund pay increases for social, community and disability workers? Do you agree that social, community & disability workers are paid less because they are predominately female? Can a government legitimately claim to support equal pay if some workers are paid less because their chosen profession is predominately made up of female workers?

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