Save Equal Pay!
The jobs of community sector workers, and services that workers deliver to at-risk and vulnerable members of the community are under threat. And it’s time for us to get angry and loud!
The Morrison Coalition Government is writing funding agreements for Commonwealth funded programs that do not include funding for the Equal Pay component of social and community services sector workers’ salaries beyond December 2020. The legal minimum rates won’t change, so this means a massive funding shortfall. If not fixed, we will see agencies close, workers sacked and clients left without the support they need. Here’s the recent response sent to the ASU by the Department of Social Services.
The ‘equal pay’ component of your pay (that’s the pay rise to minimum rates in each December) came about because of a successful campaign by ASU members like you. Check out the history here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzdwMS_9hQs
The ASU went to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) as part of the campaign. FWC agreed that the vast majority of workers in our industry are women; the nature of the “care work” has traditionally been undervalued as it has been viewed as “women’s work”; and our sector wages needed to be lifted to recognise this. They agreed our wages should be on par with similar public sector jobs.
We know that the work done by ASU members is valuable, but pay rates have not historically represented this. The outcome of the ASU Equal Pay case goes to addressing this and contributing to closing the national gender pay gap.
FWC made an Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) to deliver 9 additional wage increases over 8 years to the SCHCaDS Award, to be paid annually in December.
December 2020 is the last instalment of the ERO and will see the overall phased in pay increases hit between 23% (Level 2 workers) up to 45% (Level 8 workers).
It makes a huge difference to the pay of all workers in the sector. Members are sharing their stories now on ASU Facebook – keep in touch there to see why Equal Pay is important to your sector colleagues. https://www.facebook.com/ASUVicTas/
The Problem Now
Funding agreements are being given to service providers that do not include funding for the ERO component of social and community services sector workers’ salaries beyond December 2020. The Morrison Coalition Government is failing to assure the sector, workers and the community of any commitment.
This will be a huge reduction in funding to deliver essential social and community services.
When these cuts come in, employers in the sector will still be required to pay rate the full award rate, including the ERO component.
This will lead to a massive shortfall that will see workers sacked and clients left without the support they need.
If the Morrison Government does not reverse this decision, it will force many agencies to close.
ASU Members are Fighting Back
ASU community sector members have formed a Save Equal Pay campaign committee to plan the campaign to fight back against this shocking decision by the Morrison Government.
Please come along to the next committee meeting and bring a fellow member with you.
DATE: Wednesday 4 March
VENUE: ASU Office, 116 Queensberry Street, Carlton South
If you would like to organise a meeting at your workplace please contact the ASU at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 1300 855 570. You can also encourage your colleagues to join the ASU at www.asu.asn.au/asujoin
Employers are Signing On
The ASU has written to employers seeking their support to protect the sector and save services and jobs. We’ve asked them to sign a statement of support, and pledges have started to roll through. Stay in touch via www.facebook.com/ASUVicTas/ to keep updated, on contact the ASU office to get a hand about approaching your employer.
We’re all in this together, for a stronger, more sustainable sector – and we will win again!