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Government delivering historic pay rises to community workers

One of the significant achievements of the Gillard Government has been the pay increase awarded to workers in the community sector. The Fair Work Act allowed workers in the sector to bargain for equal pay. The Gillard Government is committed to pay its share of the cost of wage increases, setting up a Special Account to fund the increases. SACS workers will receive pay rises between 23 and 45 per cent in nine instalments starting from December 2012.

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

Andrew Leigh MP

Member for Fraser

Gai Brodtmann MP

Member for Canberra

22 November 2012

Government delivering historic pay rises to community workers

The Australian Government has taken the next step in meeting its commitment to deliver historic equal pay rises to eligible social and community sector workers.

Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, and Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh, today announced the Australian Government’s offers as part of its $2.8 billion share of the increases have begun going out to social and community services organisations in the ACT.

“Throughout November, around 4,400 social and community services organisations across Australia, including 100 in the ACT, will receive letters detailing the Australian Government’s offer towards the pay increases for their workers,” Ms Brodtmann said.

“Workers in the SACS sector have challenging jobs, helping some of the most vulnerable in our community.

“Around 120,000 of these 150,000 workers are women and for too long their work has been undervalued simply because they are women,” said Ms Brodtmann.

Under the terms of the FWA order, SACS workers are receiving pay rises in nine instalments totalling between 23 and 45 per cent from December this year to 2020.

“This historic pay rise also underlines the Government’s aim to increase financial literacy, particularly for women and particularly when it comes to superannuation,” said Ms Brodtmann.

The pay increase is as a direct result of the landmark Fair Work Australia decision on equal pay.

“Many of us are aware of the great work they do right here in Canberra to help women and children in refuges, in support centres for people with disability, in leading teams of counsellors and in managing family support services and emergency relief,” said Dr Leigh.

“Our community is strengthened by the work performed by those in the social and community services sector and I’m delighted to see recognition for this hard work,” said Dr Leigh.

The Government established through legislation in October the Social and Community Services Pay Equity Special Account, locking in its $2.8 billion contribution over the next eight years.

The Government’s $2.8 billion contribution is fully funded and accounted for in the Budget.

The latest information on the implementation process is available through the dedicated website: www.fahcsia.gov.au/node/10776

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