Wage justice

    Significant increases in award wages for aged care employees and early childhood educators and carers, which better reflects and recognises their work value.

    Economies are not objective realities and budgets are not gender neutral.

    Our economy, labour market and political institutions reflect a masculine political culture which privileges the work of men and marginalises women’s work, paid and unpaid. This is why Australian women, currently ranked equal first in the world for educational attainment, are ranked 70th in terms of economic participation.

    As journalist Ross Gittens wrote in October 2020:

    The simple truth is that … what economists call the ‘institutional arrangements’ that make up the economy have been designed by men, for the convenience of men … the blokiness of the way we’ve always managed the economy is so deeply ingrained … that so many men can’t see it…

    Women make up the majority of childcare and early years educators and aged care workers. They are among the lowest paid groups in Australia. Their work is vital and more physically and mentally demanding than most other work. It took a pandemic to highlight the point.

    Enough is enough of this continued wage injustice. Now is the time to boost the income of people working in these ‘caring professions.’ It will create jobs; improve early years’ outcomes for children; improve living standards for older Australians; and improve women’s long-term economic security.

    Indeed, all of Australia will benefit.

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