Overview

For decades Australian women workers fought to be paid the same rates as men. In 1969, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) brought a case to the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission (CCAC) against the Meat and Allied Trades Federation (and others) arguing for “equal pay for equal work”. The ruling of the Commission established the general female award minimum wage at 85 per cent of the male wage. Where men performed work usually reserved for women, they were entitled to a higher wage. However, the ruling included the important principle that when women were engaged in the same work as men in traditional male roles they were entitled to equal remuneration.

However, by 1972 only 18 per cent of women workers, mostly teachers and nurses, received the benefit of the decision, having been assessed as performing work equal to that of a man. In 1972, the ACTU and the newly elected Whitlam Government lobbied the CCAC to re-evaluate the earlier decision granting equal pay to women only in those instances where they did exactly the same work as men. This second equal pay case established that women were awarded the same rate of pay as men regardless of the work, as long as it was assessed as comparable in value. The impact of the December 1972 judgement was widespread as potential wage increases covered an estimated 1.5 million out of a total female workforce of 1.795 million.

While the principle of equal pay for equal work has been enshrined in law for 50 years, in 2019 women are still fighting for equal pay for work of equal value. The Australian full-time gender pay gap currently sits at 14.1 per cent.

Technical specifications

Issue date
18-June-2019
Issue withdrawal date
31-December-2019
Denomination
1 x $1
Stamp design
Australia Post Design Studio
Product design
Sonia Young, Australia Post Design Studio
Paper: gummed
Tullis Russell
Printer
RA Printing
Printing process
Offset lithography
Stamp size (mm)
37.5 x 26
Sheetlet size (mm)
101 x 156
Perforations
13.86 x 14.6
Sheet layout
Sheetlet of 10
FDI Postmark
Canberra, ACT 2601
FDI withdrawal date
17-July-2019

Stamps in this issue

$1 - Equal Pay for Equal Work 1969

The stamp design features a graphic rendition of the slogan current at the time “Equal Pay for Equal Work”. The photograph, courtesy of The Age, shows women workers demonstrating during the 1969 Equal Pay Case outside Trades Hall, Carlton, Victoria.

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Stamp:

Principle of Equal Pay: 50 Years gummed stamp

The stamp design features a graphic rendition of the slogan current at the time “Equal Pay for Equal Work”.

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Sheetlet pack:

Principle of Equal Pay: 50 Years sheetlet pack

The Principle of Equal Pay: 50 Years sheetlet pack contains the sheetlet of 10 x $1 stamps from the stamp issue.

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Sheetlet of 10:

Sheetlet of 10 Principle of Equal Pay: 50 Years stamps

The gummed sheetlet contains 10 x $1 stamps from the Principle of Equal Pay: 50 Years stamp issue.

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Maxicard:

Principle of Equal Pay: 50 Years maxicard

The Principle of Equal Pay: 50 Years maxicard is a *prepaid postcard with the gummed stamp affixed.

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Additional products:


This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.