Women in Pathology Bled Dry
Women in Pathology Bled Dry
Dear Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk,
We are writing to formally request a review into the low rates of pay in the Pathology industry and how it compromises the safety of its female workforce as a result of little to no disposable income. Pre-Analytical/Collector roles are consistently the lowest paying positions within Pathology Companies who report high profits which can be seen in the Australian Financial Review. Pre-Analytical Pathology (Phlebotomists/Pathology Specimen Collectors) is an industry dominated by women, in fact 77% of Pathology teams are women according to a 2020 Pathology WGEA Report (Workplace Gender Equality Agency) issued by a nationally owned Pathology Company.
The Frontline workers who are at risk of infectious disease exposure from battling COVID-19 have less earning capacity as those in the non-essential retail sector. In an email from an employee posted to their Company’s “Have your say” web platform clearly states the financial struggles our Frontline workers are facing: “...Offer us a fair pay rise and back pay as we deserve; and I’m sure negotiations would move quicker. I vote NO on your latest offering. Perhaps you need to see it in real terms, for the real people who work for XXX. My fortnightly wage after tax is approximately $1320 for 70 Hours… Let’s say for argument's sake rounding to $1320 per fortnight. Rent $780 (leaves $450) Groceries $300 (leaves $240) Utilities, Car, Petrol, Mobile and School resources $240 = $0. No Room for those life extras that always pop up or unforeseen medical expenses, let alone enjoying life. Bear in mind I am a single income household raising 2 kids. I am also a dedicated XXX employee that hasn’t chosen to join the competition or use this job as an interim whilst I study to go somewhere else. The pittance of a pay rise you are offering will barely cover my rent increase on July 1st. I am a real person. I live in the real world and deal with real problems. And I struggle to make ends meet…… Come on XXX. Get in the real world and give us what we deserve - a fighting chance to live comfortably”.
Frontline Workers have these struggles every week whilst the CEO of the same company earns $1,650,000.00. This is a problem that is not restricted to one Company but unfortunately the whole Industry. Phlebotomists are not recognised or remunerated fairly for the skill set they have. The newly established Phlebotomist Council of Australia (early 2021) was formed to act as an Advocate seeking a much needed change in the Industry. For too long our frontline heroes are being overworked, underpaid and under-appreciated, and we, Phlebotomist Council Members and the Phlebotomists we represent would like to see this addressed by the Governments that rely on the Industry to continue to battle the war on Covid.
The rising housing costs in QLD is making it harder to live on our wage. Rental prices are rising rapidly, and a lot of us are single income/parent households. We can all wave home ownership goodbye. With this insight into how little we are paid, it opens the discussion as to why victims of Domestic Violence might be forced to stay living in unsafe environments with their perpetrator - placing them and their children in imminent danger. Payday loans are sometimes our only way out which eat into any little disposable income we have left and leave us facing difficult financial decisions to not even make it living pay day to pay day.
We need to #choosetochallenge our outdated unfair and unreasonable rates of pay to empower the hard working women - mothers, daughters, sisters and friends to close the gap of pay between Pathology Collectors and other Frontline and Healthcare workers. We are at risk of not being able to flee horrendous living environments due to earning an unlivable wage.
As our State Leader and fellow Woman in a position of power, please be our voice - we are sick of being told to eat our cake when all we ask for is flour to make our bread to support ourselves and families, like the rest of our sisters working in the State of Queensland. We have compiled the signatures of our fellow workers and members of the community who feel the same and share our desire to have a raised rate of pay, to be able to flee and not become homeless. Please see the below signatures we have collected supporting our cause for change and we look forward to your response in reply.
Cassandra Brincat - President | Phlebotomist Council Of Australia
Rebecca Luxton - Founder and Director | Phlebotomist Council Of Australia