International Women’s Day 100th Anniversary: a rallying call

March 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

Equal Pay: Big Changes NOT Small Change!

On the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, march together
for equal pay.

At 12pm on the 12th of March 2011, meet at Town Hall in Sydney City.

What is Equal Pay?

It used to be about getting the same pay for the same job but we changed that in 1972. Now it’s about being paid less for jobs that require similar skills because the jobs have traditionally been done by women and as such is undervalued.
So car care workers get paid more than child care workers! As many of the jobs women do are also in services funded by government and deal with needy people, the pay rates lag well behind similar jobs in other industries.
Right now, community workers, 90 per cent of whom are women, have a case before Fair Work Australia to increase their pay. Community work is the classic female-dominated profession.
Who has the power to decide the case?

The organisation that sets the pay rates in this case is Fair Work Australia, however, the Commonwealth  and State Governments – Julia Gillard, Krisina Keneally and co – fund the community services that employ these workers. They need to agree to increase funding to cover the wage rises.
So, the Commissioners of Fair Work Australia decide, but in the end, it is the Government that has to say YES! to equal pay.
If we win this case, there are other groups in line to increase low paid other jobs. Many other jobs dominated by women, like child care, aged care, cleaning, and retail are undervalued and underpaid. So, many employers will fight the decision. Employers First, the employer representative for some community services, already has been fighting the case.
What Anniversary?

1911 was the first time IWD was celebrated internationally. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, and hold public office and end discrimination.
100 years on, women are still fighting for decent pay and equal rights!
Join the march to Martin Place for Equal Pay, and celebrate 100 years of the Women’s Movement!
This was composed by myself, Eva Cox, and Rosa Campbell, all of the F Collective, in the lead up to the rally on 12th March for the Centenary of IWD in Sydney.

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