Janine Freeman MLALabor Member for Mirrabooka

Your local Labor MP

Labor welcomes fair work ruling

Thursday 19 May 2011

Ms Ellery said community and disability sector workers, who cared for some of Western Australia's most vulnerable people, were paid 30 per cent less than those doing the same job for the Government.

 

"Wages must reflect skill and experience, not gender," Ms Ellery said.

 

"Women in these sectors have been grossly undervalued and I hope the ruling serves as a catalyst for a new outlook and better wages.

 

"The wage gap has meant non-for-profit organisations have really struggled to retain workers in some of the most important roles and I hope Fair Work's decision will encourage more people to the sector.

 

"Western Australians are struggling as a result of the Barnett Government's increases to household bills and demand for these services will only increase, so it's critical we attract as many workers as possible."

 

Ms Ellery said this week's ruling was a step in the right direction but the Barnett Government must now back up Fair Work Australia's findings with appropriate remuneration.

 

"The Barnett Government must now commit extra funding to reduce the pay gap," she said.

 

"The funding promised so far by Mr Barnett is about the gap to date.  If additional funding is not also forthcoming to ensure wages in this sector remain competitive, the problem will not go away.

 

"These people are helping some of the Western Australia's poorest people, yet their archaic wage means they are struggling to make ends meet themselves.

 

"Demand for their services will increase even more after the Barnett Government's $228 increase in household bills in this week's State budget, which will take its total price hikes to a massive $1,032 since 2008.

 

"The Barnett Government must back up Fair Work Australia's findings with appropriate funding to finally give Western Australian community and disability sector workers the wages they deserve."