The AMWU's Victorian Branch is doing vital work to help reduce the number of women retiring into poverty. Women over the age of 55 are the fastest-growing cohort of homeless Australians.
A significant contributor to this is that women are, on average, paid out a third of the superannuation payment that men take out. That is $37,000 versus $110,000.
At the rate we're going, it will take another quarter of a century for us to close the gender pay gap. Women have waited long enough, so we're doing something about it!
How can union members help:
To understand how we can help, we must first understand why there is still a superannuation gender pay gap. Here are some significant contributors:
- First, women are paid 13% less than men on average in Australia. For every dollar men earned in 2022, women earned 87 cents. That's $252.30 less than men each week.
- Secondly, women are significantly more likely than men to take time out of the workforce to care for children and loved ones.
So, how can we help?
In industries like manufacturing, most workplaces do not accommodate family caretaking responsibilities, making it impossible for people to work whilst also being able to pick up kids from school or look after elderly loved ones. But small changes to roster patterns can make a world of difference.
For instance, in manufacturing, parent-friendly hours between 9 am-3 pm or split shifts (7 am-11 am & 11 am-3 pm) are rare. But these practical shift changes allow workers to continue to go to work each day whilst also attending to caretaking responsibilities.
This ensures that women workers are not forced to leave the workforce to take care of family, meaning they can still accumulate superannuation. We also need to make sure we're encouraging male colleagues also to utilise existing workplace flexibilities such as parental leave.
STAY OUT – INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2024:
On International Women's Day 2024 (8th March), the AMWU will be leading union women to take a stand against the superannuation gender pay gap and the rising number of women becoming homeless.
Option 1: Stay Out with us to raise funds and awareness: Register for the stay over and raise a minimum of $150 through sponsors such as your friends, family and colleagues to go towards the non-for-profit organisation, McAuley Community Services for Women.
Option 2: Pledge to make a difference in your workplace: Pledge to include “family-friendly shift patterns” into your next EBA log of claims.
Option 3: Donate to the cause - All funds raised will be donated to McAuley Community Services for Women – a non-for-profit organisation that provides housing and support for women who have been homeless.