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Equal pay win, pressure now on states to step up

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 1 Feb 2012

Greens Senator and spokesperson for women Lee Rhiannon today congratulated all those who have campaigned so hard over decades to achieve Fair Work Australia's decision today on equal pay for community workers.

"Equal pay for work of equal value is a human right but many women in Australia have been denied it. This is an historic win." Senator Rhiannon said.

 "The pressure is now squarely on employers and state governments to match the federal government's commitment to pay their fair share of equal pay orders by Fair Work Australia.

"Women working in the community sector have taken home unfairly low wages for too long.

"They should not have to work multiple jobs on low wages for years until governments catch up.

"The average pay for women in Australia's workforce is 17% less than for men, according to a 2010 report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

"This long and hard campaign by women's groups and unions has been fought over nearly eight decades.  In 1927 women employed in the Australian insurance industry banned overtime and staged street protests demanding equal pay.

"The ASU and all the organisations and individuals that have been involved in this campaign have done an excellent job. This is a huge win," said Senator Rhiannon.

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