Posted on 01. Feb, 2012 in News

Premier Ted Baillieu must deliver on his promise and immediately commit to fully fund today’s historic order by Fair Work Australia that gives equal pay to tens of thousands of Victoria’s lowest paid women, the Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Andrews, said today.

The Federal Government and all states except Victoria had committed to fund the awarded pay increases of between 19 and 41 per cent over eight years to social and community services workers.

“This is indeed an historic day and a significant milestone in the long fight to achieve equal pay for women,” Mr Andrews said.

“The independent umpire has awarded significant wage increases for workers in the community services industry because they were comparatively underpaid – and underpaid because they work in an industry dominated by women.

“Victoria is the only state in Australia not to deliver a full funding commitment to right this wrong.”

Mr Andrews said Mr Baillieu must keep his word and commit the funds to make sure these wage increases were passed on to Victoria’s social and community services workers in full.

“Before his election, Mr Baillieu promised to back pay equity and boost wages for community services workers, who are among the lowest paid in the State,” he said.

“Mr Baillieu’s Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge went further and said this would be done ‘whatever the cost’.

“Ever since, the Baillieu Government has tried to wiggle out of its promise and, in an extraordinary about face, argued gender played no real role in the low wages paid to non-government community services workers.

“But the Baillieu Government has form when it comes to saying one thing and doing another, and undermining public sector workers.

“Negotiations with nurses are in disarray and the Government has walked away from a pre-election commitment to make teachers the highest paid in Australia.”

Shadow Minister for Employment Tim Pallas said community services workers did incredibly challenging work caring for our most vulnerable people.

“They deserve to be paid fairly for the work they do,” he said.

“A few extra dollars a week might not mean much to Mr Baillieu, but for low income families it makes a big difference.”


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