Sunday, December 12, 2010

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.
Why Equal Pay?
Right now, community workers, 90 per cent of whom are women, have a case before Fair Work Australia to increase their pay. Community workers pay has always been low because it is a female-dominated profession. A person working in a male dominated industry such as a greenskeeper earns more than someone working in a female-dominated industry such as a youth suicide prevention worker. This is not because the work that men do is harder, or because it contributes more to society. These low wages that women receive are due to the undervaluation of the work that women have done and continue to do.
Who has the power to decide the case?
The Federal Government – Julia Gillard and co – have the power to support the case or not. The Government initially supported the case going to Fair Work Australia, but now their submission to the case says they cannot afford to fund it. PM Gillard holds the purse strings, so let’s send her a message! The NSW Government also have a say over funding. So, the Commissioners of Fair Work Australia decide, but in the end, it is Government that has to say YES! to equal pay.
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, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. It was also the year of a the Lawrence Strike, a textile workers strike in the USA. More than 20 000 workers went on strike in response to wage cuts, many were arrested and jailed and several were killed. This is sometimes called the Bread and Roses strike.
100 years on, women are still fighting for decent pay and equal rights!
Join the march to Circular Quay for Equal Pay, and celebrate 100 years of the Women’s Movement!