Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

$3 Billion for Social and Community Sector Workers

Joint Media Release with:

  • Prime Minister
    Minister for Community Services and the Status of Women
    Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

The Gillard Government will provide an additional $1 billion as part of our contribution to the historic pay rise awarded to Australia’s social and community sector (SACS) workers in February of this year.

This takes our total commitment for equal pay for social and community workers to around $3 billion through to June 2021, as part of the phase in period.

From 1 December 2012, 150,000 of Australia’s lowest paid workers will benefit from substantial pay rises of between 23 and 45 percent as a result of Fair Work Australia’s decision to lift the wages of some of Australia’s lowest paid workers.

Significantly around 120,000 of these workers are women.

Speaking at the NSW Labor Conference in Sydney, the Prime Minister said her Government was committed to meeting its share of the costs associated with this historic decision.

It was this Labor Government who allowed the case to be brought to the independent umpire through our introduction of the Fair Work Act.

And this Labor Government will continue to support this historic pay increase at every step of the process as it is phased in.

The Federal Government now expects state and territory governments to meet their obligations and commit their share of funds.

Employees in our social and community sectors work in some of the most challenging of jobs such as counselling families in crisis, running homeless shelters, working with people with disabilities and with victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

These employees make a real difference to lives of some of our most vulnerable community members and they deserve to be properly rewarded for their efforts.

We also need to do everything possible to attract and retain more workers in this sector of the economy.

Up-to-date information on the Government’s commitment to pay its share of the Fair Work Australia decision is available on a dedicated website