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Debate over womens pay levels in the ACT public service

By Thumper - 25 February 2010 52

An ACT Greens motion calling for an audit of the salary gap between men and women in the Territory’s public service has sparked a fierce debate in the Legislative Assembly.

The Greens argue many women are disadvantaged because they have to leave the workforce to have children while their male counterparts keep on moving up the pay scale.

Greens leader Meredith Hunter says it is important to scrutinise the pay gap.

I think Ms Hunter maybe missing a rather large and blunt point here, however, I shall let the learned readership discuss this issue.

What’s Your opinion?

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52 Responses to
Debate over womens pay levels in the ACT public service
chewy14 8:43 am 26 Feb 10

Did she really say…. no she can’t be that ……stupid.

*Slaps Forehead*

JessP 8:34 am 26 Feb 10

You make a choice….

But seriously readers, most women realise after a few years in the trenchs that climbing the heights IS NOT WORTH IT! Why be a higher level employee, for a few more $$ (after tax) to work all hours your master requires? Your hourly rate plummets…

Why lose your nights and weekends to maintain your position? Climb higher and have to travel and spend more and more time away from your family?

Women are smart – they have worked out their priorities…..

captainwhorebags 8:13 am 26 Feb 10

Pay should be linked to merit, performance and the job you are doing.

Gender and parental status have nothing to do with it. If you choose to take time off for family reasons, then your career may suffer. That’s one of the factors that needs to be considered.

Another case of someone wanting to have their cake and eat it too. And get a bigger slice than the person next to them. And pick when they have their cake. And pick the type of cake. And pick who else gets to have cake.

mmm, cake.

Clown Killer 2:51 am 26 Feb 10

From an employer’s point of view – I’d happily bring our female staff salaries into line with our male employees – and pocket the sizeable difference.

Pandy 11:19 pm 25 Feb 10

Wimmin, if you open your legs, would your female bosses really care, if what it means they have lost a production unit?

moneypenny2612 11:09 pm 25 Feb 10

Hopefully the pay audit terms of reference won’t be limited to looking into whether maternity leave causes a gender pay gap. Curiously, the Greens press release on this topic didn’t mention maternity leave at all. Perhaps Ms Hunter had a brain fart on the Assembly floor?

I don’t work in the ACT PS, but I assume that pay rates aren’t only a matter of serving time. (Maybe I’m wrong!)

After all, the guiding pay equity principle is equal pay for work of equal value. Granted when you’re not working, you’re not ‘valuable’. But there’s more to evaluate than length of service.

If you’re crap at your job your ‘experience’ doesn’t count for much and you should be paid accordingly.

Deano 10:03 pm 25 Feb 10

The Greens argue many women are disadvantaged because they have to leave the workforce to have children while their male counterparts keep on moving up the pay scale in order to pay for raising said children.

“Voluntary” school contributions don’t pay themselves you know.

sexynotsmart 9:53 pm 25 Feb 10

Ummm in two minds about commenting on this thread. But if I do then I might seem sensitive to feminist ideals and get more action.

As near I can work out, the salary gap occurs because women that have kids have a chunk carved out mid-career. I think the gender difference could be mitigated if men were required to spend a year in a different career, then only permitted to work 30 hours per week for another couple.

Unfortunately that packs a whack against national productivity. So we need to compensate. If men were required to do 10 hours of physical activity a week for a half-dozen years, we could nix the obesity crisis. And maybe the health cost benefit could offset the productivity loss.

Primal 9:51 pm 25 Feb 10

Unless she is implying that a year out of the office is as good a learning experience as a year in the office (depends on the office, you never know…), then yes I think she is rather missing a rather large pink-and-purple-polka-dotted point.

Wanon 9:39 pm 25 Feb 10

It’s not like they *have* to take mat leave. If they are that financially motivated then keep working after you have your child.

Grow up Meredith.

You could always think of being able to spend more time at work and getting promoted as compensation for not being able to bear a child…
I bet barren women would be thrilled to get the oppurtunity to not take maternity leave.

Anna Key 9:34 pm 25 Feb 10

When is having a child a disadvantage?

sepi 9:27 pm 25 Feb 10

More stay at home Dads will even up the equation a bit.

Fiona 9:24 pm 25 Feb 10

Sokay, I’ll top out after 3 years without having to move into management. My very few male counterparts will do the same, and then eventually move into something sideways in order to keep moving up. Ahh, the HP pay scales.

bd84 9:20 pm 25 Feb 10

The only thing that should be a problem is if a woman is paid less for being in the same or similar position which require the same experience/qualifications. Given in the public service that positions within agencies cannot be easily changed up or down levels, I would be surprised of any instances were found.

Any person that leaves the workforce for a period of time is likely to find that they do not move up the pay scale as fast as they would if they continued working for that period, it is not be restricted to females who have children. Working generally increases your skills and knowledge, promotions and pay rises should be determined on these, it is unreasonable for the Greens to suggest that any one who takes maternity or parental leave should be given a free pass to the next level just because they have children.

WanniAss 9:18 pm 25 Feb 10

I’m with you thumper, the bleedin’ obvious is left said unsaid

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