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Historic Pay Agreement for Community Workers

10 November 2011 at 12:05 pm
Staff Reporter
The Gillard Government has announced an historic agreement on equal pay for Australia’s Community workers.

Staff Reporter | 10 November 2011 at 12:05 pm


Historic Pay Agreement for Community Workers
10 November 2011 at 12:05 pm

The Gillard Government has announced an historic agreement on equal pay for Australia’s Community workers.

Some tens of thousands of community sector workers are expected to receive pay rises of about 20 per cent, after the Gillard government agreed to contribute $2 billion to fund the historic equal-pay case.

Equal Pay Agreement – The Details
  • The Federal Government will put a joint submission on equal pay with the Australian Services Union to Fair Work Australia.
  • The Government is prepared to provide over $2 billion to fund its share of any wage increases awarded.
  • The Government expects major providers and other unions will join us in the submission.
  • Of the 150,000 workers in the sector, 120,000 are women. Fair Work Australia has already found that their work is undervalued because of gender considerations.
  • The Government also encourages state and territory governments to commit to funding their share of the cost of closing the gender pay gap.
  • If FWA agrees to the Government's proposal on the extent of this undervaluation, this will deliver very significant pay rises.
  • With Fair Work Australia's approval, the increases would be phased-in over six years, starting on 1 December next year.
  • View Prime Minister Julia Gillard's speach here.

Two years after the case was launched, the Gillard government today announced it had struck an 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.

Gillard has announced the Government was prepared to spend  $2 billion over six years to deliver higher wages if it was approved by Fair Work Australia.

She has called on the states to match the pledge.

Gillard said the pay rise would go to social and community sector workers such as those working in disability, homeless and domestic violence areas.

Sally McManus for Secretary of the ASU in NSW says “the only thing that now stands between us and our goal of equal pay is Employers First, ABI and the Victorian Government”.

“The final decision must still be made by Fair Work Australia, but our case is now stronger then ever,” McManus said.

She said the position position of the NSW Government is still unlcear.

Earlier this year, Fair Work Australia found that SACS workers are paid lower wages than public sector employees doing similar work, and that gender played a role in creating this wage disparity.

However, the tribunal fell short of issuing an equal remuneration order, calling for more evidence to be submitted to determine the extent to which lower wages had been affected by gender. 

For more information visit

Click here to view our extensive and ongoing coverage of the equal pay campaign.

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