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NSW Boosts community sector workers' pay

22 November 2011

The NSW Government today announced substantial pay rises for 27,000 community workers employed by 1,400 non-government organisations, with the  NSW Government to contribute $1 billion in extra funding.

Premier Barry O'Farrell said the extra funding means pay rises of between 23 and 45 per cent over the next 10 years to workers employed by non-government organisations like House with No Steps, the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Sunnyfield, Mission Australia, the Salvation Army and Anglicare. The wages increases apply to workers employed under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (SACS Modern Award).

"This significant commitment by the NSW Government supports our social and community workers, recognising their tireless efforts as well as the increasingly important role of non-government organisations in providing improved services and lives to vulnerable people in NSW," Mr O'Farrell said.

"It is common practice that Commonwealth and State governments work together to contribute their fair share.

"The NSW Government has consistently said that we will pay our fair share of the wage increase, and the NSW Government has stood by that commitment."

Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward said the onus is now on the Commonwealth to meet its fair share.

"The Commonwealth has left NSW community workers with a funding shortfall of $70 million over the implementation period for these pay rises," Ms Goward said.

"However, NSW will cover the Commonwealth's shortfall over the implementation period so wage increases can be paid in full, to ensure that these important workers do not continue to face uncertainty while the NSW Government keeps the pressure on the Commonwealth to meet its fair share.

"The Gillard Government has failed to meet its commitment to community workers.

"NSW calls on the Gillard Government to meet its fair share and guarantee ongoing funding so NSW taxpayers don't have to foot Federal Labor's gap."

Minister for Ageing and Disability Services Andrew Constance said it is appropriate for community sector workers to be recognised with higher wages for their dedication and professionalism.

"These workers deliver front-line services to some of the most vulnerable members of our society whether they are people with disability, families or children in crisis," he said.

"This is a momentous day for those workers who sacrifice so much to improve the lives of others, and demonstrates again the NSW Government's commitment to the sector.

"At a time of unprecedented growth, it will also help in attracting more workers into the profession.

"The NSW Government has done its part in funding our fair share of the wage increase, and now the Commonwealth needs to do the same.

"The Gillard Government will generate extra tax revenue with this wage increase, so they have absolutely no excuse to short-change workers," Mr Constance said.

Employers are required to pass on the first wage increase from 1 December 2012.

Examples of wage increases  for community sector workers

  • A Western Sydney man works 2.5 days a week providing domestic assistance to people with a disability and older people in their own homes. He earns $398.15 a week, an annual salary of $20,759.05 (pro rata).After the pay rise is delivered in full, he will earn $489.71 a week - an increase of 23 per cent.
  • A female caseworker in Bathurst has been helping children in out-of-home care for over 10 years. She earns $1,156.10 a week, an annual salary of $60,279.05. After the pay rise is delivered in full, she will earn $1,583.86 a week - a 37 per cent increase.
  • A woman began a career in care work starting in an entry level position with a local non-government organisation on the Central Coast. She earns $739.30 a week and an annual salary of about $38,547.10. After the pay rise is delivered in full, she will earn $909.34 a week - a 23 per cent rise.
  • A full time tenancy team leader in South West Sydney is responsible for providing tenancy and property management services for people who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness. She earns $1,109.60 a week, an annual salary of about $57,854.55. After the pay rise is delivered in full, she will earn $1,509.10 a week - an increase of 36 per cent.

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