Finance sector union campaign to end gender pay gap

| March 7, 2019

The Finance Sector Union of Australia (FSU) has written to employers in the financial services industry calling upon them to remove pay confidentiality clauses in Enterprise Agreements as part of the union’s campaign to end the gender pay gap.

Employers which have agreed to the proposal or who don’t have pay confidentiality clauses in their contracts include: ANZ, AMP, Zurich, Allianz Partners, Clearview Wealth and Endeavour Bank.

Others which have refused include: CBA, Westpac, nab, IAG, QBE, Suncorp and Sydney Credit Union.

FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano said the gender pay gap in the financial services industry remains stubbornly high at 30.3 per cent of total remuneration.

“We agree with research that suggests the introduction of pay transparency could reduce the gender pay gap by between two per cent and seven per cent,” Ms Angrisano said.

“The FSU has been campaigning to address the gender pay gap for more than 20 years and it is about time that employers in the industry recognised that talking the talk, isn’t enough, and for real change to occur employers need to step up and try new things – because the things they’ve been trying for 20 years just aren’t driving real change”,” she said.

The FSU has asked employers to commit to remove pay confidentiality clauses from employment contracts and to advise all employees that they have done so.

“Employers tell us there’s no gender pay gap in ‘like for like’ roles but we know that’s not true. We’ve seen individual contracts that show men and women in like for like roles with women earning thousands of dollars less than men. These aren’t high paying roles, we’re talking people earning less than average weekly earnings.

“Workers will only be happy if they’re being paid fairly and knowing what your colleagues earn allow workers to fight to close the pay gap, you don’t know what you don’t know and if you can’t share information with your colleagues without breaching confidentiality clauses that’s never going to be in the best interests of workers.

“For too long the finance industry has relied on performance-based pay that drives these inequalities and allows bosses to hide unconscious bias. It’s time to shine a light and allow workers to talk about pay without fear of repercussions.

“We’re not asking employers to publish salaries on the Internet, we’re only asking them to remove clauses that prohibit people taking about what they earn and finding out for themselves if there is indeed a gender pay gap.”