Equal Work for Unequal Pay: Australia

An Annotated Bibliography on Pay Equity and Salaries in Librarianship

 From 1998-2002



Scope and Purpose


United States



Other Works Consulted


Spiegel, Pamela. “Aussie Librarians Win Landmark Case.” American Libraries 33, no. 5, (May 2002): 32-33.

Spiegel reports on one of the most significant pay equity decisions in Australia in the last 30 years. Librarians, library technicians, and archivists in the state of New South Wales, Australia received pay increases to reflect their education and the complexity of their jobs.  The Industrial Relations Commission based this decision on the fact that these jobs were undervalued in Australia because they are comprised of mainly women and that there have been significant increases in the complexity of work and skills required of these professions.  Some librarians in Australia speculate that this ruling will give them equal status with other professions.

Lau, Deborah. “Aussies Receive Huge Pay Hike.” School Library Journal  48, no. 5, (May 2002): 16.    

A report about the historic pay raise the Australian library workers received.  The article reports that the pay raise was sparked by the Public Service Association (a labour union), which presented the case that a female worker was worth the same as her male counterpart.

Jacobsen, Geesche.  “Gender Pay Claim One for the Books,” Sydney Morning Herald. (Wednesday, November 7, 2001) <http://old.smh.com.au/news/0111/07/national/national4.html>

An article about the Australian case that awarded librarians, library technicians, and archivists a large pay raise in order to rectify the historical undervaluing of the library profession.  This is a significant case because it was the first in Australia to compare male intensive professions to female intensive professions and determine that one profession is discriminated against.  It is believed that this decision will lead to other claims by nurses, hairdressers, and child-care workers. See a similar story at: http://heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,4036973%255E1702,00.html.

Office of the Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment. “Pay Equity Case Study,” <http://www.eeo.nsw.gov.au/women/payequit.htm >

A summary of the report on the case study which was submitted to the 1998 Pay Equity Inquiry conducted by the New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission comparing the work value and remuneration of librarians and geologists.  These two gender-specific professions were evaluated using two evaluation systems.  The study used two similar job classifications Senior Librarian Grade 2 and Senior Geologist to compare the qualifications, award structures, career paths, remuneration, and award histories for the professions.  The results indicated that there was a significant pay gap between these two professions due to factors such as patterns of award increases, the history of awards, market influences, and sex discrimination.  This site gives information on how to purchase the complete published report.