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John Passant

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September 2013
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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole
(0)

Sick kids and paying upfront

(0)

Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)

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The gender pay gap is over 17% – isn’t it time for unions to fight?


Here are some of the reasons, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, for the gender pay gap of 17.5%.

‘A number of often interrelated factors contribute to the gender pay gap including: women working in different industries than men (known as industrial segregation); the over-representation of women in particular, often low paying, occupations while being
under-represented in others (known as occupational segregation), the undervaluation of women’s skills; and career breaks taken by women to have and raise children. Institutional influences, such as the sector you work in and the way your pay is set, also play a role.Additionally, a significant proportion of the gender pay gap is unexplained and therefore discrimination too is likely to play a part.’

Equal pay was only won in 1972 because of unions and unionists campaigning, striking and demonstrating. But equal pay doesn’t give equal pay for equal work, or fix the low pay in many female dominated industries.

Strikes can. Thus for example in 1986 after 5 weeks of strikes Victorian nurses won significant pay increases and better conditions.

As the Defend Bob Carnegie site says:

‘Equal pay didn’t come about because of the goodness of the bosses’ hearts, nor from the goodwill of the Arbitration Commission, nor from a Labor government. It came because workers, both men and women, fought for it.’

That fight will be needed now to end the gender pay gap, which as  the graph shows, at 17.5% is higher now than under Howard in 2004 when it was 14.9%.

As Cecilia Judge says in Socialist Alternative about the equal pay decision in the community sector:

Whoever said that battles are won in the street, not the courtroom, had sage advice for community sector workers. More than a year after a significant legal victory, we’re still fighting for equal pay.

The message seems pretty clear. If you don’t fight you lose. It’s way past time for unions to launch an industrial campaign to end the gender pay gap. Unions?

Given the sorry state of most unions in Australia today, it is now time for rank and file unionists to launch an industrial campaign to end the gender pay gap.

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Comments

Comment from Kay
Time September 4, 2013 at 3:51 am

I find it interesting, and very surprising, given the widespread condemnation of Work Choices, that the gap was less under the Howard government. Now the unions appear to have much more influence, but the gap widens. Maybe there is too cosy a relationship between the Labor government and the unions?

Comment from John
Time September 4, 2013 at 9:55 am

Kay, the increase in the gender pay gap appears to have started with the introduction of WorkChoices and has continued with Labor’s WorkChoices Lite, aka Fair Work. I think too an explanation that takes into account a shift further and further to services, to non-unionised mainly female dominated workplaces and to increasing pay among traditional male areas such as mining and building might also explain part of it.

Comment from Kay
Time September 4, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Sounds reasonable. All the more reason to have PPL at a woman’s (or man’s) normal salary, with consequent superannuation payments. The cut-off salary for eligibility is an issue that can be further argued.

Pingback from En Passant » The gender pay gap is over 1…
Time September 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm

[…] Here are some of the reasons, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, for the gender pay gap of 17.5%. 'A number of often interrelated factors contribute to the gender pay gap including: women working in …  […]

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