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HSU Welcomes Historic Equal Pay Decision Today by FWA01 February 2012
The Health Services Union, one of several unions collaborating in the Equal Pay case, has welcomed the decision by Fair Work Australia (FWA) today to address the historic undervaluation of community sector, disability and mental health workers with significant pay increases.
In the historic decision issued today, the majority of the full bench broadly endorsed the joint submissions put to it by the unions and the federal government to increase rates of pay in the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award by between 19% and 41% depending on the classification level.
These increases are to be phased in over eight years, which is slightly longer than unions had been seeking. However, the majority decision also awarded an additional 4% loading to make up for lost bargaining opportunities during the phase in.
Branch Secretary of the HSU's HACSU branch in Victoria, Lloyd Williams today said "We welcome Fair Work Australia's decision to recognise the incredible contribution that disability and PDRSS workers make to the lives of Victoria's most vulnerable citizens. The decision will help to redress the gender imbalance for these workers who have historically been paid so much less than their public sector colleagues who do the same work but who have not suffered the same undervaluing."
Acting State Secretary of the HSU's HACSU Tasmania branch Tim Jacobson said, "our members have been campaigning for this outcome for years and at last they will be recognised for their tireless dedication and skill."
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a statement this afternoon that the ERO was "the first ever successful pay equity claim in the national system, and a significant advance for equal pay for women."
The HSU now calls on all State and Territory governments to step-up and ensure that with the funds already pledged by the federal government, that this historic decision is fully funded.
Members wishing to get more information on the ERO decision can access the FWA ERO Decision on the FWA website or contact your branch office.