South Australia accepts offer for SACS workers’ pay rises.
The South Australian Government has become the first state to reach an agreement with the Australian Government on funding the historic pay increases already flowing to the state’s Social and Community Services (SACS) workers.
The Federal Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, said she is pleased that the South Australian Government has agreed in principle to the Commonwealth’s offer of $97.7 million, over the phase-in period to 2020-21.
“This means SACS workers in South Australia can rest assured their employers are being supported to deliver these historic pay rises over the next nine years,” Ms Collins said.
“The offer represents the Commonwealth’s share of the pay rises and includes conditions focused on guaranteeing these funds will be used to help the sector meet the costs of the pay increases.”
The South Australian Minister for Education and Child Development, Jennifer Rankine, also welcomed the offer from the Commonwealth.
“The South Australian Government will also provide more than $119 million to the community sector to support those many workers who make an invaluable contribution to our community,” Ms Rankine said.
“This funding from our two governments of more than $200 million will strengthen the community sector and the services it provides.
“Around 12,000 SACS workers in South Australia are receiving these historic equal pay rises, which are being delivered in nine stages over eight years.
“These wage increases will lift salaries for workers in this sector by between 23 and 45 per cent, taking the weekly wage of an average worker in the community sector from around $848 to $892.”
Ms Collins said the Australian Government is committed to meeting its share of the historic pay increases.
“To ensure this, we have set aside around $3 billion in the Social and Community Services Pay Equity Special Account,” Ms Collins said.
“Negotiations with other state and territory governments are continuing and I urge them to follow South Australia’s example so the sector receives the certainty it needs.
“We have addressed earlier concerns and have increased offers to states and territories by more than $300 million.
“This means our share of SACS funding for programs under Commonwealth-State Agreements has risen from $1.1 billion to over $1.4 billion,” Ms Collins said.