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AASW MARKS AN HISTORIC DAY FOR COMMUNITY SECTOR WORKERS

Published: 9 December 2020

Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) National President Vittorio Cintio said it is important for all community sector workers to acknowledge the eighth anniversary of the Fair Work Australia decision which sought to close the pay gap of community sector workers across Australia.

The Equal Remuneration Order impacted the working lives of more than 200,000, (predominantly female) community sector workers, with the creation of an award that phased in a pay rise of between 19-41 per cent between 1 December 2012 and 1 December 2020.

Mr Cintio said this is a landmark day that community sector workers around Australia should never forget.

“Community sector workers have been historically undervalued, underpaid and not properly respected. With this decision we saw was a great and passionate workforce, including social workers, in youth, disability, family and domestic violence, mental health tackling an inequality head on.”

“What the Equal Remuneration Order did for the community sector was to acknowledge not only the high level of skills, qualifications and experience necessary to work in the social and community services sector, but also to acknowledge that those who need these services deserve competent workers who are qualified and committed to this work.”

“Increasing the relevant Awards and corresponding funding was a step in the right direction in addressing gender pay disparity.”

“The increase was welcome then and is still needed now, with the vicarious trauma and stress on frontline staff, increasingly unreasonable KPIs that make ethical and sound practice difficult and ensuring that future sector awards include the provision for financial subsidies and adequate leave for mental health needs, domestic violence, supervision and continuing professional development,” he said.

The AASW continues to advocate directly to the Federal Government to maintain the the Equal Remuneration Order Supplementation.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers