Ahead of International Women’s Day, QCOSS is calling for the federal government to renew funding for the community service sector. As the sector is made up of 80 per cent women, funding cuts would disproportionately affect women.
The funding, called Equal Remuneration Order Supplementation, is around $500 million per year nationally and is set to expire next year.
QCOSS CEO Ms Aimee McVeigh says the funding was implemented almost a decade ago to ensure community service organisations were better funded, meaning staff are fairly paid.
“Community service workers are at the centre of ensuring our communities are characterised by equality, opportunity and wellbeing for all. They provide emergency accommodation, domestic and family violence services, food relief, affordable childcare and more.
“If this funding is not renewed, it is likely there will have to be job losses and cuts to services.”
University of Queensland Professor of Social Work, Dr Karen Healy AM, says that community service workers are committed to providing services to the most vulnerable in our community, but they also need to meet their own financial obligations.
“Fair pay in the sector makes economic sense. It means services can retain workers and avoid the costs of turnover,” Dr Healy says.
If the funding is not renewed, this would not only impact women working in the sector, but also the women they help on a daily basis through their services.
“In the lead up to International Women’s Day, we’re calling on the government to commit to continuing to provide to Equal Remuneration Order Supplementation funding,” Ms McVeigh says.
For 60 years, QCOSS has been a leading force for social change. We believe that every person in Queensland – regardless of where they come from, who they pray to, their gender, who they love, how or where they live – deserves to live a life of equality, opportunity and wellbeing.