ACT Gov announces community service wage stability as COVID-19 struggles persist
The ACT Government will help protect local jobs in the community services sector at a time when these jobs are most needed, Minister for Community Services and Facilities Suzanne Orr has announced this week.
At the end of the 2020-21 financial year Commonwealth supplementary funding is due to cease for community sector employees under the historic Equal Remuneration Order (ERO), meaning these jobs would be under-funded or lost without intervention.
To help prevent significant job losses or retraction in services, the ACT Government will commit to providing the equivalent funding in current and future contracts, a $9 million show of support which will allow vital community organisations to focus on supporting Canberrans most in need.
The announcement has significance to some in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, with community services providers offering ECEC services in some areas.
“With this announcement today, we want every worker and community partner to know the ACT Government is committed to maintaining the pay levels set out in the ERO. This will provide certainty to the sector and allow them to get on with the job of supporting our community,” Ms Orr said.
“Contracts that are due to expire in June 2021 will be extended until June 2022 to enable a strategic, collaborative and measured approach to service re-design, service delivery outcomes and design of procurement and re-tendering processes that are fit for purpose.”
The announcement was welcomed by ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) CEO, Dr Emma Campbell, who said the announcement provided “welcome relief for the community sector”.
“The last six months has shown just how vital community organisations are and this funding will see these organisations continue their critical work while ensuring that our female dominated workforce is appropriately valued and paid a decent wage,” Dr Campbell said.
“As we approach Equal Pay Day on Friday 28 August,” she added, “this announcement by the ACT Government is an important contribution to addressing equal pay for community sector workers, around 80 per cent of whom are women.”
For more information on how the ACT Government is supporting the community sector, please see here.