Start Date for Community Sector Pay Rises Announced
25 June 2012 at 10:24 am
About 150,000 community workers will benefit from regular pay rises totalling between 23 and 45 per cent from 1 December this year, according to the Federal Government.
The Federal Government says the first Equal Remuneration Order handed down by Fair Work Australia (FWA) details how the social and community sector workers – most of them women – will receive their significant pay rises.
The Government said pay increases will take effect over an eight year phasing in period with workers receiving equal instalments to their pay over that time.
The order follows FWA's historic decision on 1 February this year ordering equal pay for social and community services workers in recognition of the tireless work they do for the Australian community.
Fair Work Australia was told during the SACS hearings that around 120,000 of the workers covered by the ruling are women, working in difficult jobs including helping people with disability, counselling families in crisis, running homeless shelters and working with victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.
The Government says it will continue to work with the sector to ensure the smooth implementation of the order across all states and territories.
The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten said the Government remains committed to providing additional Commonwealth funding of more than $2 billion to pay its share of the wage increase granted by FWA.
“State and Territory Governments must also commit to funding their share,” he said.
“FWA's decision is the first successful equal remuneration claim in the national system and a significant advance for equal pay for women.
“In coming years, we will need to attract and retain more workers in the services sectors of the economy and especially in ‘caring' work which has historically been dominated by women.
“Properly valuing caring work and providing decent wages in industries dominated by women is an important part of keeping our economy strong and resilient,” the Minister said.
The Victorian Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge said the Victorian Government has committed $200 million towards its share of the Fair Work Australia decision on an application for an equal remuneration order for the social and community services sector.
“Full details of the funding arrangements are still to be determined as the Commonwealth has not yet revealed what funding it will commit to services in Victoria in response to the decision.
“The $200 million we committed in the Budget will support the full wage decision for community sector workers directly funded by the Victorian Government for at least the next two years,” Wooldridge said.