"I am extremely concerned to see that the move to individual workplace agreements is already resulting in significant widening of the gender pay gap," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
New evidence released this week demonstrates a widening gender pay gap for women on AWAs, with a drop of almost 20% over a two year period for non-managerial employees. The report "Australian Workplace Agreements and Gender Equity" was produced by Prof. Alison Preston and colleagues of WiSER at Curtin University.
"After many years of hard work to move us towards a situation where all Australians receive the same money for doing the same work, I am distressed to see that our equality is being eroded and women are going backwards in the workplace," she said.
"When the Work Choices legislation was introduced to the Senate, we warned that it would impact unfairly on women in the workplace, in the same way that the introduction of similar legislation in WA during the 90's," said Senator Siewert.
"These figures do not bode well for women under Howard's WorkChoices regime," she said. "As the new changes to workplace relations begin to bite we can expect to see the gender pay gap widening further and workplaces becoming less fair."
"A fair go in the workplace means nothing less than equal pay for doing the same job," concluded Senator Siewert.
Another study released this week by Prof. David Peetz also found that women's wages had dropped across the private sector and that award conditions were seriously eroding.
The WiSER report is online at: www.rachelsiewert.org.au/files/campaigns/extras/AWA-gender.pdf