Friday, 16 December 2011

The pay rise for our

Prime Minister and her fellow members of parliaments was officially confirmed yesterday. Her pay packet is now officially just under one hundred times more than what mine is.
Our Prime Minister now gets paid more than twice as much as the Prime Minister of Britain - oh and more than the President of the United States. Australia must be the most important country in the world!
I rather doubt that. Australia is, in the scheme of international affairs, not that influential. Still, running a country is a pretty important sort of job. You should be well paid for doing it - or so the argument goes.
I wonder what my mother would make of this if she was still alive. I wonder what hundreds of thousands of other Australian women make of it. You see there was the other piece of news in the paper this morning. Women's pay is slipping further behind men's pay again.
When my mother started teaching in 1946 she was paid less than her male colleagues. She was paid less for doing the same job simply because she was a woman. When my mother married my father she had to "resign" from the Education Department for three days and then be re-employed. She lost "long-service" and sick leave entitlements because she was a woman. Men faced no such problems. They were however expected to provide support for their partners.
Our Prime Minister and her parliamentary colleagues face no such problems.
Out in the real world things are better than they were when my mother started work. You no longer need to resign - if you did you would likely not be re-employed. You keep your long service and sick leave entitlements. (If you are wondering what "long-service" leave is it is a left over from the colonial era when people went "home" to the UK or other parts of Europe for a time after ten or fifteen years of service.) You can get maternity (and paternity) leave too.
There are still problems of course. Interruptions to a career do not usually help you climb a career ladder.
I do not know how many hours our Prime Minister worked last week. Neither of us has children so we were not involved in school runs and after school classes. The Whirlwind did not make undue demands on my time either. Indeed it was a fairly quiet week for me. There is still an urgent need for support for aid workers everywhere but there was no new disaster of catastrophic proportions. I only worked for sixty-two hours, not including my domestic responsibilities. The Prime Minister probably worked longer than that. Perhaps that is why she gets paid so much more - but more than ten-to-twenty times what most women get and one hundred times more than me?

3 comments:

virtualquilter said...

Cat,

She also gets a com car, and probably doesn't know what a tricycle is.

Judy B

Anonymous said...

And a driver to go with it - and staff in the office, at the Lodge etc etc...
I would not mind if they actually got on with the job of running the country responsibly instead of just trying to stay in power.

Donna Hosie said...

If she is like other people I know in Government, then it is highly likely she is working 15-16 hours a day.

I don't like Julia Gillard, but I won't begrudge her a decent salary. Now she just needs to earn it.