1988, 55 Minutes
In 1972 Australian women received ‘equal pay for equal work’, however ‘equal pay for work of comparable worth’ is still being fought in the industrial courts today.
The long history of equal pay for women has yet to result in wage justice. In 1972 an historical decision of ‘equal pay for equal work’ was handed down by the Arbitration Commission. However, the notion of ‘comparable worth’ was not accepted at the time.
In 1985, with women still only receiving 67% of men’s wages, the ACTU mounted another action in the industrial courts to have the notion of ‘comparable worth’ confirmed. Using nurses’ claims for better pay as a test case, it aimed to show that the nature of their work was comparable in many respects to that of better paid firemen, policemen and ambulance attendants.
This program examines the history of equal pay and women’s rights, and follows three women who were heavily involved in the nurses’ case.
Produced by the Women’s Film Unit. Film Australia the Production Division of the Australian Film Commission 1986.
© 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director: Cynthia Connop
Featured People: Jenny Acton, Alex Anderson, Elise Callander, Zelda D'Aprano, Edna Ryan
Running Time: 55 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: Australian Economic History, Business Studies (Business Management/Industry and Enterprise), Economics, Industrial Relations, SOSE/HSIE, Organisational Management, Work Studies. Of particular relevance to NSW History Stage 5, Topic 6 'Changing Rights