ACOSS Welcomes Equal Pay Pledge But Warns on Job Losses
Thursday, 10th November 2011 at 3:17 pm
Australia's peak community and social services body ACOSS has welcomed the agreement between the ASU and the Australian Government in the Equal Pay Case saying community sector workers get pay rises of between 19 and 42 per cent.
However it warned that that the funding must be made available to ensure that an increase in wages do not lead to job losses or reductions in services.
The Gillard government today announced that it had struck an historic agreement with the Australian Services Union to deliver a joint submission to Fair Work Australia based on the same pay scale approved for Queensland workers in 2009.
"We congratulate the Prime Minister and Government on this important announcement as a welcome step towards securing equal pay for the workforce that is so vital to providing effective community services across Australia," said Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS.
ACOSS has long advocated for adequate funding to ensure effective, sustainable services with experienced workers to meet these needs.
"The announcement of a joint commitment on pay rates and that the Commonwealth will fully fund its fair share of higher wage costs is a significant breakthrough, as is the Commonwealth's commitment to work with states and territories towards their share of funding” said Dr Goldie.
"We also understand that there will be support for industry assistance to transition to new arrangements. This will need to include funding for those services that do not rely on government funding but which provide vital services to the community.
Dr Goldie said “this is another welcome element of the announcement as there is much work to be done to support services through implementation, both in the resolution of the equal pay case and it's flow on effects for areas like the modern award.
"There is much work to be done in the months and years ahead, including on how to ensure that adequate funding is delivered in a way which develops and supports quality services for the people and their communities that so rely on them.
"ACOSS has been a strong supporter of the Equal Pay case but has always said that the funding must be made available to ensure that an increase in wages do not lead to job losses or reductions in services.
“We will continue to work closely with governments, employers and workers to ensure effective sustainable social services in Australia well into the future," said Dr Goldie.