It’s time to close the gender pay gap

As public education teachers we believe in a fair start for all our students.

When women, on average, have to work an extra 59 days to earn the same as men, it is time to close the gender pay gap!

28 August is Equal Pay Day — marking the 59 additional days from the end of the previous financial year that women must work, on average, to earn the same amount as men in that year.

The theme for Equal Pay Day 2019 is ‘The gap matters’.

Workplace Gender Equality Agency director Libby Lyons said the gender pay gap matters because over women’s working lives they “will earn less than men, encounter more obstacles to their career progression than men and accumulate less superannuation and retirement savings than men”. Women will retire, on average, with 40 per cent less superannuation than their male counterparts and the homelessness rate for women over the age of 55 has increased by 31 per cent between 2011 and 2016, the agency’s website states.

Using the latest Average Weekly Earnings trend series data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency has calculated the national gender pay gap as 14 per cent for full-time employees. They found that, on average, women working full-time earned $1484.80 while men working full-time earned $1726.30 — a difference of $241.50 per week. (The Workplace Gender Equality Agency collects pay data annually from non-public sector organisations with 100 or more employees. The data includes superannuation, bonuses and other additional payments.)

Teachers in NSW public education workplaces may relate to the reasons for the national gender pay gap, identified in KPMG’s report, She’s Price(d)less: The economics of the gender pay gap, prepared with the Diversity Council Australia and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency:

  • discrimination against women on hiring
  • women’s disproportionate share of unpaid caring and domestic work
  • women’s over-representation in lower paid roles
  • women’s employment concentrated in lower-paid sectors.

Federation has addressed gender pay issues since the union’s inception in 1918, including achieving equal pay for equal work, and continues to seek improvements. Federation’s affirmative action policy refers to increasing the pool and opportunities for promotions positions and professional development for women, obtaining promotions data for male:female comparisons about how long it takes and proportional representation for women in leadership positions.

How you can support Equal Pay Day

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency is running a social media campaign. For more details visit