Pay cuts and the public sector: Gender perspectives on the new austerity

Presenter/s: ANU Gender Institute

Event type: Webinar

Event date: Friday, 19 June 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Event venue: Online Zoom meeting

This panel will address the gender implications of salary freezes, pay reductions and other cost cutting measures in public institutions.

There is an emerging wave of proposals for reducing public sector wage bills in federal and state governments, as well as universities. The differential impact of such policy urgently needs to be assessed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted revenues for many public institutions in Australia, from transport to higher education. Initial government responses to the economic fallout of the crisis have been crucial to ensuring equity, for instance, public transfers for wage and childcare subsidies and unemployment benefits have been expanded. But as longer-term economic recovery plans are being drawn up, public austerity appears to be taking hold. 
The economic crisis and its management raises large gender and related equity questions. Key issues addressed by our panellists include:
  • What are the gendered economic impacts of public austerity?
  • What gender inequalities exist within public sector workforces?
  • What are the short and long run gendered impacts of pay freezes? 
  • Can pay cuts be equitable? What are the alternatives? 
Associate Professor Fiona Jenkins, Convenor of the ANU Gender Institute, will chair the discussion. 
Trish Bergin, Co-Director Governance, 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, University of Canberra
Alison Pennington, Senior Economist, Centre for Future Work, Australia Institute
Tony Dreise, Director, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, ANU
Rebecca Pearse, Lecturer in School of Sociology and the Fenner School, ANU
MEDIA: The new austerity: why it will hurt women more than men, by Julie Hare, editor of BroadAgenda 22 June 2020


Credits Ana Galvañ


Updated:  7 November 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute