Campaign Kicks Off to Support Equal Pay for Community Workers

8 June 2010

ACOSS today launched a new campaign in support of the landmark equal wage case to lift the pay rates and conditions of 200,000 community sector workers.

ACOSS is encouraging its members, and other community organisations, to support the campaign by signing onto a joint statement of support. The statement calls for state and federal governments, and non-government funders, to commit to full funding of any pay increases that result from the case.

“Community sector workers provide vital assistance to over 6.5 million Australians in services such as youth refuges, homeless shelters, family counselling, and community legal centres,” said Clare Martin, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service.

“Low wages have meant the community sector has suffered workforce shortages and struggled to attract and retain well-qualified staff. 71% of respondents in our annual survey of the community sector reported low wages were a key difficulty in hiring staff.

“If wages do not improve, we will not be able to sustain our workforce and organisations will not be able to continue their crucial work. Our workforce is aging and low salaries will make it even harder to replace workers who retire.

The test case, currently before Fair Work Australia, follows in the steps of a Queensland court decision to lift pay rates for state community workers by 18% – 37%.

ACOSS will continue to advocate for full funding of any wage decision in this case. You can support our campaign by signing onto our joint sector of support:

click here to read the statement and email Tessa Boyd-Caine ([email protected]) to join.

Media Contact: Clare Cameron, ACOSS – 0419 626 155