Equal Pay Day: Closing the Gender Pay Gap

Monday 29 August 2022 was Equal Pay Day – and there’s nothing equal about it. This year Australian women must work 60 additional days, on average, from the end of the financial year to earn the same annual salary earned by men. 

It’s time for action on this, not only on a national front but in our very own state service. 

Released this week, in 2022, Women earn $1,591.20 compared to men’s average weekly ordinary full- time earnings of $1,846.5 (from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency Australia’s Gender Pay Gap Statistics | WGEA)  

Key 2022 Statistics: 

  • Women earn an average of $255.30 less than men. 
  • The full-time total earnings gender pay gap, which includes overtime payments is 16.4%. This means women’s average weekly total full-time earnings are $316.80 less per week compared to men. 
  • Adding the part-time workforce, the total earnings gender pay gap for all employees widens to 30.6%. This means women’s average weekly total earnings are $483.30 less per week than men. 

CPSU General Secretary Thirza White: 

“We know that insecure work is one of the reasons why women in the Tasmanian State Service are falling behind. 

“In schools, school support staff, who are mostly women, are stood down without pay over the school holidays, many are forced to take on a second job or even to apply for government support to make ends meet. Changing these arrangements would be a big step forward in reducing the gender pay gap in the state service” 

“A right to flexible work rather, than a right to request, would also help women remain in the workforce, pick up additional hours and reduce the barriers to women taking on higher salaried positions. We know many women want to work more or take on opportunities but securing work that fits in with family or caring responsibilities is often a barrier”. 

While statistics are depressing, there are solutions. Members have put forward the following for our Public Sector Wages Agreement log of claims. 

These include: 

  • To end stand down in schools. 

That the inequity between the leave provided to teachers, principals and school psychologists compared to other school-based employees be resolved. This would mean an end to the practice of standdown. Reducing one of the largest structural barrier to the gender pay gap in the state service.  

  • Conversion to Permanent employment 

A fixed term employee or casual will have the right to be converted to permanency after 12 months of continuous employment, where the work is ongoing, or same or similar duties are available. Seasonal workers will not be denied conversion because of the breaks between contracts. 

  • Conversion of regular hours  

A permanent part-time employee who works more hours than their guaranteed minimum for a continuous period of 12 months, has a right to have their guaranteed minimum hours increased up to the hours they have been working.  

Greater equity of access to flexible working arrangements  

  • Reverse the onus for approval for flexible workplace arrangements. A request is approved unless employer can demonstrate why a flexible working arrangement cannot be facilitated. 
  • Access to a minimum of 10 days remote working for all workers covered by TSSA & HAHSA regardless of role. 

Click here to see more ways the CPSU Claim is standing up better work this Wages Agreement.

Share your story about inequity and insecure work at: https://bit.ly/3BNaaxy 

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