Protesters pucker up for equal pay

DEPUTY Prime Minister Julia Gillard will be receiving hundreds of ‘kisses’ from Grafton-based Community workers tomorrow as the Australian Services Union embarks on a national campaign for equal pay in their industry.

The union’s push for equal pay, dubbed Pay Up – No More Lip Service to Equal Pay, is expected to reach its peak on June 10 when community workers and their supporters will converge on major cities around the nation.

Sue Moss is a community youth worker who will be involved in the campaign and says it is high time women in ‘feminised’ industries had equal pay.

“Women in my industry earn about 17 per cent less than men and on average have to work 63 days more a year to be in line with our male colleagues,” she said.

“Workers in our industry genuinely do love their job. It is a fairly thankless job but it is needed.”

This campaign follows an historic decision made in May last year where Queensland community workers were awarded a pay increase of between 18 and 37 per cent.

“We are asking the Deputy Prime Minister to convince her colleagues to bring community workers’ pay up and put an end to the lip service about equal pay and establish some kind of national standard,” Sue said.

Today and tomorrow, Sue and her fellow union representatives will be going to different areas throughout the Clarence Valley to explain the campaign, hoping to gain support from the general public.

Individuals within the community who support the campaign are invited to send ‘kisses’ in the form of post cards and video messages to Canberra tomorrow night.

Local Australian Services Union representatives will be at the South Grafton neighbourhood centre in the New School of Arts building in Skinner Street, South Grafton, from 5pm tomorrow.



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