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Community sector celebrates equal pay renewal


14 October 2020 at 10:36 pm
Maggie Coggan
“This is a testament to the work of advocates, as well as the leadership of Minister Ruston, that this was achieved,” a community sector leader says.  


Maggie Coggan | 14 October 2020 at 10:36 pm


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Community sector celebrates equal pay renewal
14 October 2020 at 10:36 pm

“This is a testament to the work of advocates, as well as the leadership of Minister Ruston, that this was achieved,” a community sector leader says.  

The federal government’s decision to renew a funding deal that allows female community-sector leaders to receive fair pay has been welcomed by sector leaders, who say it will save thousands of jobs. 

The decision, announced in this year’s federal budget, comes after months of campaigning by peak community service bodies to see the equal remuneration order extended.   

Which programs will get the funding? 

  • Commonwealth Financial Counselling Services and National Debt Helpline  
  • Financial Crisis and Material Aid: Emergency Relief services  
  • Family and Relationship Services 
  • Specialised Family Violence Services  
  • Communities for Children Facilitating Partners  
  • Children and Parenting Support Services  
  • Reconnect Program  
  • Intensive Family Support Services  
  • National Find and Connect

With women making up 80 per cent of the community services workforce, the landmark Fair Work Commission decision to address the gendered undervaluation of work in 2012 saw wages increase by up to 45 per cent over eight years.  

Marking Equal Pay Day in August, the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) launched a campaign calling on the federal government to commit to renewing the 2012 funding agreement, which they say would not only support fair pay in the sector, but essential services.  

John Mikelsons, ACOSS spokesperson, told Pro Bono News that the decision was good news not only for women working in the community sector, but for vulnerable people accessing services, and thousands of workers. 

“We know that there would have been thousands of jobs lost across the sector, and we know that there would have been people going without services in the middle of a recession,” Mikelsons said. 

He said a significant amount of advocacy went into achieving the outcome, as well as leadership shown from the federal social services minister, Anne Ruston. 

“This is a testament to the work of advocates, as well as the leadership of Minister Ruston, that this was achieved,” he said. 

“We look forward to working with the minister to ensure the funding is extended to services beyond those funded from her department, as well as on a range of other issues impacting the sector and the people it helps, including people on low incomes.”

See more information on the renewal here


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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