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Positive developments in equal pay case

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SENATOR THE HON CHRIS EVANS Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations Leader of the Government in the Senate

SENATOR THE HON JACINTA COLLINS Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations



The Gillard Government today welcomed the positive developments made at a Fair Work Australia (FWA) conference with the parties to the social and community services (SACS) equal remuneration test case.

“The Gillard Government is committed to working with the parties to assist FWA determine an appropriate wage increase,” Senator Evans said.

Senator Collins said “Today’s FWA conference was an important opportunity to further explore the scope for an agreed approach to setting wage increases for SACS workers”.

As part of its preliminary decision on 16 May 2011, FWA has provided parties with the opportunity to provide further submissions to assist them in formulating a remedy.

Senator Evans said, “The Government has long acknowledged that SACS workers are undervalued and is actively working with the SACS sector to obtain an understanding of the implications of the case.”

The Government has established the Community Sector Wages Group, chaired by Senator Collins, which is examining how to manage the implications of this historic case with the affected unions, SACS providers and the States and Territories. The Group met for the first time on Monday 6 June 2011.

The Government’s Fair Work Act made this historic case possible, we remain firmly committed to working with unions, providers and all states and territory governments to help Fair Work Australia determine an appropriate wage increase.

“We are working with key stakeholders to ensure a sustainable and effective community services sector,” Senator Collins said.

The Government will be making a further submission to FWA in the coming weeks.

Senator Evans: Rhys Davies 0411 138 572 Senator Collins: Jessica Lindell 0408 642 804

[24 June 2011]