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The Mercury, Blair Richards, April 14.  Click here for the full article.

 

Female PS pay shame

TASMANIA’S female public servants are continuing to receive a smaller share of the big salaries.

The State Service Commissioner’s annual report reveals that women make up 70 per cent of the public sector workforce. But men in senior management outnumber women three to one and there currently are no female heads of agencies.

Just under 6 per cent of women public servants earn more than $89,999 compared with 18.69 per cent of men.

Community and Public Sector Union general secretary Tom Lynch said although women were well represented in State Parliament, the same was not true of the public service.

“In politics, women have been quite successful but not in the senior echelons of the public sector,” he said.

Mr Lynch said arguments about why women’s careers stalled should be pushed aside.

“A lot of people would say that women’s careers are set back by having families and all the rest of it. I think that it isn’t worth going into why, we just need to say it exists. It’s not good enough and we should do something about it,” he said.

“It’s a principle of the public service that it reflects the community that it serves.”

Mr Lynch said there had been gains made for workers in female-dominated professions such as librarians and teachers’ aides, who were now better paid.

Denison Liberal MHR Elise Archer, whose career included work as a workplace relations lawyer, said although there was a lack of senior women across private and public sectors, the continuing public-sector pay gap was disappointing.

“It’s all well and good to say we’d like it to be higher but there’s not much happening in that space,” she said. “From a policy approach, I think we need to look at management and leadership programs.”

Ms Archer said Tasmania had some of the most rigorous anti-discrimination legislation in Australia, protecting women from being overlooked for promotion on the basis of gender.

However, she said work to improve the career prospects of women should begin at high school level with programs to encourage girls to achieve.

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