Good on the midwives taking their case straight to the High Court. Of course, it’s for the Court to decide if this is a case of gender discrimination, but the public arguments sounds pretty compelling.
I’m not sure how anyone would think a midwife, after three years of training, with significant legal and medical responsibilities, working 24/7, holding lives in their hands, should be paid less than other medical professionals with similar responsibilities. For example, senior nurses usually earn more than $67,000 whereas in 2015 the average taxable income for a midwife working as a Lead Materinity Carer was less than $54,000.
The wellbeing of our society rests on the essential work of midwives, social workers, rest home workers, and many other professionals engaged in caring work. All of these professions are female dominated, engaged in what was once considered women’s work. It is disgraceful that these women are having to resort to expensive legal battles through the court to have a hope of fair pay.
It’s 2015, not the 1950s. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a government that had a plan to address gender discrimination in pay rates to guarantee women equal pay for work of equal value?
Sure, it might cost government a little more in the short term, but in the long term a whole lot more families would have a whole lot more money to be able to live. As the Employment Court has noted, slavery was once upheld on the grounds society couldn’t afford to pay the slaves.