Cairns Rally Supports Equal pay decision for underpaid community workers!
A rally was recently held at Centenary Lakes in Cairns to highlight the Fair Work Australia decision that community sector workers do not receive equal remuneration for work of equal or comparable value in comparison with state and local government employees, validating the claim of workers in this crucial sector.
Steve Rogers from the Australian Services Union congratulated Fair Work Australia for getting it right. He noted that they had taken time to hear from the sector, visited workplaces, and come to understand just how poorly paid these vital workers are. He then called on State and Commonwealth Governments to make sure the organisations that employ these workers are properly funded, so they can pay their workers appropriately.
According to ACOSS CEO Dr.Cassandra Goldie, “The workplace relations tribunal’s ruling that gender has been an important factor in creating the wage gap for this predominantly female workforce confirms the claim that community and social sector workers are being short changed.”
It has clearly heard that this situation cannot continue and that the capacity of the community sector to do its work depends upon funding higher wages for this important workforce.
Cr. Rob Pyne also spoke to the rally, pointing out workers in the community sector assist the most disadvantaged members of the community and that their work was at times very challenging. He added, “It’s time for those funding commitments to come through from State and Commonwealth governments and other agencies, so employees are treated fairly. it is just the right thing to do”
According to Dr. Goldie “We know the pay gap between community sector workers and those doing equal or comparable work is irrefutable. The tribunal today accepted this. And with 85% of the community sector workforce women, this constitutes a
significant gender pay gap.
“Responsibility for this pay gap is widespread and includes␣the many sources of funding that go to the community sector. There’s no doubt that funding will be the critical issue, and ACOSS has been calling on the Commonwealth and state Governments to step up to the plate and assume responsibility as the primary funders of these services,” Dr. Goldie said.