In 2012 ASU members won pay rises of between 23% and 45% after a long-fought campaign to address low wages in the community sector. The campaign supported the union’s other efforts running an Equal Pay case at the Fair Work Commission.
The Fair Work Commission ordered that the Equal Pay increases on our Award wages were to be phased in over eight years – with the final instalment due in December 2020.
These increases were won because of a campaign fought by ASU members.
The Fair Work Commission agreed with the ASU that:
- the vast majority of workers in our industry are women;
- the nature of the work (“care work”) has traditionally been undervalued as it has been viewed as “women’s work”; and
- therefore, our sector wages needed to be lifted to recognise this. We argued that our wages should be on par with public sector jobs that are similar to ours.
We won the argument in the Fair Work Commission and we also won billions of dollars in state and federal government funding to cover the costs of these wage increases.
It was a historic victory for all workers in our sector – thanks to union members.
WHAT DOES EQUAL PAY MEAN FOR YOU?
Twice every year since 2012 our minimum rates of pay have increased.
The July increase is due to the Annual Wage Review, and the December increase is because of our Equal Pay win.
Members are currently better-off by between $112 and $575 each week because of the Equal Pay campaign and decision.
Here’s how Equal Pay has made a difference to two ASU member’s weekly pay.
EQUAL PAY UNDER THREAT
When ASU members won Equal Pay, state and federal governments set aside special funds to cover our new higher rates of pay. This guaranteed funding until 2020.
The increases awarded by the Fair Work Commission in our Equal Pay case are the legal minimum rates of pay.
By law, you cannot be paid less.
Now it’s clear that many federal government departments have not budgeted to lift program funding beyond December 2020. This reverses all the gains of the last 8 years.
The Morrison Government has now confirmed that it plans to cut equal pay funding from commonwealth funded programs after December this year. You can download the letter from the Department of Social Services here.
We know how budget cycles work, and the reliance of the sector on secure government funding. And our members want sustainable quality jobs.
If Equal Pay is not funded, jobs and services will be under threat.
We fought to win Equal Pay, we will fight to protect it!
Check your funding – Department of Social Services Grants Service Directory:
HOW TO HELP SAVE JOBS AND SERVICES
Join the campaign to Save Equal Pay
1. Join the ASU
It was only when workers joined together in 2012 that we won Equal Pay. We can do it again by standing together! Join us to save Equal Pay. www.asu.asn.au/asujoin
2. Pass a resolution in your workplace
Pass a resolution in your workplace committing to be part of the campaign.
3. Take action in your local community
Take action in your local community in support of the campaign to save services, save jobs and save Equal Pay!
4. Come along to a Save Equal Pay campaign meeting
Campaign meetings are held monthly – contact the ASU office to find out when the next one is happening, and get involved in planning the campaign.
5. Ask your employer to sign a statement of support.
See link in the downloadables section below – we’re asking employers to stand with workers to save jobs and services.
6. Take a selfie with our sign “What does Equal Pay mean to you?”
Take a selfie with our sign “What does Equal Pay mean to you?” and send it in – so we can keep spreading the word on social media. Check out the ASU Facebook page for these pics and supporters from across the sector.
7. Download materials at the links below.
Share them at your workplace and across your community sector networks!
Statements of Support – Employers, Peaks and Allies
The ASU office, ASU delegates and members have been contacting employers and others to seek their support to Save Equal Pay and sign a pledge.
By pledging to support the campaign signatories agree to give the union access to the workplace/s to provide campaign information to staff, support union members’ participation of in campaign activities and
advocate in support of this campaign. The pledge template is downloadable below if you’d like to follow up at your workplace. If you’d like a hand with that just contact the union office or your organiser.
Check here to see who has signed up to show their support for Equal Pay funding
Aust Association of Psychologists Inc
Bethany Family Services
Cobaw Community Health
Consumer Action Law Centre
Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV)
Domestic Violence Victoria
Family Access Network
Financial Counselling Victoria
Housing for the Aged Action Group
Jesuit Social Services
Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
Sacred Heart Mission
Thorne Harbour Health
Upper Murray Family Care
Windana Drug & Alcohol Recovery Ltd.
Women’s Health West