I have asked the NSW Minister for Finance and Services to support the current equal pay for community sector workers before Fair Work Australia. This industry has a long history of being predominantly female, providing care and support for the vulnerable people.
Constituents who have contacted me say wage disparity makes it difficult to recruit and retain trained and experienced staff in community services organisations. Governments increasingly rely on community sector organisations to provide vital health and welfare services, and there is increasing pressure to meet more complex client needs.
One constituent who is a community worker told me she earns less than a cleaner in the private sector despite having three tertiary qualifications and more than 10 years experience. She says this is a common situation for community workers.
The community strongly support fair pay, and 400 representative organisations have leant weight to the campaign, including many employers. However, the NSW Government sought leave to file new material and has now opposed the claim.