Equal pay win for union

I am writing to congratulate union members across the country on our recent win in Fair Work Australia (FWA). On February 1, 2012, a long-awaited decision to grant equal pay to community services workers was handed down. This will see wage rises in the order of 19-41% in the sector, phased in over the coming years. The case was brought to FWA by unions from across the country with our own NSW branch of the ASU playing a key role in its complex and protracted proceedings. The full decision can be found on the FWA website and makes for interesting reading. In recognising the undervaluation of this work, FWA awarded the first Equal Remuneration Order granted on the basis of gender since equal pay for women was notionally won in 1972. That's 40 years of sector struggle, agitation and commitment from a procession of union members across an entire generation. What a feat! And make no mistake it IS union members - who pay their dues and believe in the power of the collective in the workplace - that this victory belongs to.

For those non-members in the sector I have one message only; join your union now and share in the celebration that contribution brings. To all the stalwart long-term members and new members alike, well done sisters, brothers, comrades - this recognition has been a long time coming. Thank you for your vision and persistence.

Punita Boardman

ASU Regional Organiser


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