Added by Annika L. Krugel on March 5, 2011
In announcing a panel to look at how a potential pay increase in the community services sector can be managed, Workplace Relations Minister Chris Evans recognised that women’s work is underpaid in this female-dominated industry.
The announcement is a result of an equal remuneration order that unions lodged with Fair Work Australia in March last year. The case is asking for a pay rise in the social, community and disability services sector.
Although a decision is not expected for several months, Senator Evans said a special panel will be assigned to look at how to manage such a pay rise and the implications of implementing it.
“What we don’t want to have is a situation where organisations aren’t funded sufficiently, (and) they have to reduce staff or something as a result of that pay decision,” Evans told reporters in Perth.
Most of the community services sector is funded by the three levels of government and is traditionally known to pay their employees less than equally qualified individuals in other industries.
Because community services are dominated by female workers, Senator Evans concluded: “To be brutally frank, this represent the fact women’s work has been undervalued in Australia.”