Message from the Australian Services Union

The Australian Services Union NSW & ACT (Services) Branch is very proud to host and support the Edna Ryan Awards which celebrates women who make a feminist difference.

Throughout her life Edna Ryan worked towards making a better world – especially for women, and improving conditions for women workers was “the area of feminist change dearest to Edna’s heart”. Among her many achievements was the preparation and presentation of the now famous submission on the minimum wage to the National Wage Case in 1974.

Building on this, on 1 February 2012 the ASU won an historic Equal Pay Case for social and community workers across Australia. In a landmark decision Fair Work Australia agreed with the case presented by the ASU – that care work has been undervalued because of gender: the industry has been traditionally dominated by women, and care work is undervalued because it is ‘women’s work’. This decision will result in pay rises of between 23 and 45% for social, community and disability workers across Australia.

Like Edna the ASU has a proud history of defending and advancing the rights of workers, and particularly women workers.

For more information about the Australian Services Union NSW & ACT (Services) Branch: