The Queensland Council of Social Service has welcomed today’s announcement by Fair Work Australia of a wage increase for community service workers.
“Today’s national decision is another step in the journey towards equity and consistency across the sector. By recognising the importance of the sector and the work it does with disadvantaged Australians it ensures the ability of the sector to employ well trained staff and to retain them,” says QCOSS CEO Mark Henley.
He says the announcement will bring the historically underpaid workforce in line with government and industry workers in similar roles and mirrors the outcome of the Queensland Industrial Relations 2009 Pay Equity decision, which was a forerunner of the national Pay Equity case.
QCOSS President Karyn Walsh welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to provide in excess of $2 billion for organisations with federally funded workers and called on state governments to also increase their funding to the community sector across Australia to enable it to implement today’s Fair Work Australia decision.
“Many Queensland organisations have been paying higher rates since this state’s precedent-setting 2009 wages decision – and few of these were fully funded to do so, although the Queensland Government did provide $414 million dollars in supplementation.
“The unique situation in Queensland warrants a unique funding response. QCOSS continues to lobby both the Commonwealth and State governments to fund the full, fair cost of service delivery for all government contracted services and calls for an industry support package to support Queensland organisations that are or soon will be bound by the Queensland pay equity rates while the federal decision is phased in.” says Karyn.
“A strong sustainable community sector is vital to every community in Queensland and requires planning and negotiating with all stakeholders to ensure the continuation of services. QCOSS calls for the creation of a taskforce with representatives from all stakeholders to ensure Queenslanders have access to the full range of community services now and into the future.”
Mark Henley 0448 075 087, Karyn Walsh 0413 619 785
Mark Jeffery 0419 732 583, Ian Wynne 0414 643 122
Jenny Whitworth 0417 779 819