Premier Ted Baillieu should commit the funding needed to support Victorian social and community services sector workers achieve pay equity, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said today.
Mr Andrews said that following today’s agreement between the Commonwealth and the Australian Services Union to provide $2 billion for thousands of workers in the social and community services sector, it was time the Baillieu Government acted.
“Workers in Victoria’s social and community services sector work hard each and every day to provide care and support to some of the state’s most vulnerable people, and the independent umpire has agreed that this female-dominated industry is comparatively underpaid,” Mr Andrews said.
“The Federal Government’s funding commitment is paving the way for fair and reasonable pay increases for the sector and to delivering pay equity.
“But it’s still unclear what the Baillieu Government is going to do to deliver on its lofty statements of support for achieving pay equity in Victoria.
“In Opposition, Community Services Minister, Mary Wooldridge promised a Coalition Government would fully fund the outcomes of a pay equity test case, no matter what the cost.
“But since coming to Government, Ms Wooldridge has walked away from that commitment.”
Mr Andrews said it was important that the Baillieu Government delivered on its promises.
“The Baillieu Government has form when it comes to saying one thing and doing another, and has been caught out attempting to undermine public sector workers,” he said.
”Negotiations with nurses are in disarray, the Government has walked away from a pre-election commitment to make teachers the highest paid in Australia and so far has refused to confirm that it will fund all outcomes awarded by Fair Work Australia in this pay equity test case.
“The Premier now has a responsibility to ensure that social and community services sector workers are fairly rewarded for their work and to match the Commonwealth on its decision to make pay equity a reality for Victoria’s SACS workers.“