Equal Pay Decision “Milestone” - NFPs
1 February 2012 at 4:35 pm
The community sector has welcomed the decision by Fair Work Australia in the equal pay case for Australian community sector workers.
In the landmark decision, Fair Work Australia handed down its ruling which will see major pay rises for tens of thousands of workers across the country.
ACCOS chief executive, Dr Cassandra Goldie, said that the decision was the first step in addressing the historical undervaluing of community sector workers.
“This is a milestone for equal pay and a crucial step towards ensuring viable, effective social services by requiring appropriate levels of pay for the staff we depend upon to deliver those services,” Goldie said.
Of the eight year phase-in period for the pay increases, Goldie said that ACOSS would be looking at the longer implementation phase to ensure that it doesn't undermine service effectiveness over time.
“The decision is fairly moderate in the context of projected salary rises over time, particularly in the public service. This makes it all the more vital that the funding required to cover higher wages is made available as soon as possible,” she said.
NCOSS Director, Alison Peters, said that the decision was “significant” and that “fair wages will allow for these services to continue being viable and effective.”
Meanwhile, Anne Hollonds, chief executive of The Benevolent Society, said the decision was “long overdue”.
“People working in this sector support some of the most vulnerable members of our community, including families in crisis, foster children, people living with mental illness and the elderly,” Hollonds said.
“These women and men work tirelessly to make our communities better places to live, and it’s well and truly time we properly recognise and value their contribution.”
Dr Caroline Lambert, executive director of YWCA Australia, said it was vital that all state governments commit to funding the pay increases but that many community services organisations are partly funded by non-government sources.
“Community service organisations with multiple funding sources also need to be able to meet wage cost increases without a reduction in services,” Lambert said.
“We hope that the ASU equal pay case increases awareness in the general community of the true costs of providing quality community services and leads to increased valuing of the sector’s work across the whole of the Australian community.”
View our extensive and ongoing coverage of the equal pay campaign here.
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