The Equal Pay Day of Action held on 10 June in Lismore was the biggest National Action for Equal Pay recorded since the 1970s. It was definitely energising to see NSW members participate in support of the history making Equal Pay Case to address lower pay among female-dominated community sector workers.
In Lismore, a colourful and determined crowd of 250 workers, including the Samba Blissta drummers, Federal Member for Page, Janelle Saffin and City of Lismore Mayor, Jenny Dowell, were led by local drag act ‘Julia Gillard’ from the Lismore Workers’ Club to the Town Hall.
In 2010, unions led by the Australian Services Union (ASU) and supported by the ACTU and the Federal Government are lodging a test case in Fair Work Australia (FWA) using the new Equal Remuneration laws embedded in the Fair Work Act. The case will impact the working lives of about 200,000 community workers.
The success of the ASU campaign and scope of the test case – demonstrated to have the support of all union affiliates – has been embraced by a broad range community members and supporters, both men and women, highlighting that equal pay is a matter all Australians want to see won.
The case will be heard by a Full Bench of FWA in August 2010. We encourage NTEU members to continue to show support and say ‘No More Lip Service to Equal Pay’.