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Government ACT, Union

Community sector workers ask FWC to intervene in ACT funding dispute

Australian Services Union 2 mins read

Media release | Tuesday, 25 June 2024

The Australian Services Union will ask the Fair Work Commission to intervene in its fight to secure basic leave entitlements for ACT community services workers.

Tuesday’s application will seek to stop the ACT government shortchanging community sector workers on paid parental, family and domestic violence leave available to the territory’s public sector. 

Who: Doorstop with ASU NSW & ACT Secretary Angus McFarland and social workers

When: 1pm Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Where: Outside the Fair Work Commission at 14 Moore Street, Canberra 

ASU NSW & ACT Secretary Angus McFarland said the Albanese government’s industrial relations reforms empowered the Commission to compel governments to negotiate on publicly funded sectors. 

The union is seeking to close the gap on conditions provided to members covered by the Community Sector Multiple Enterprise Agreement (MEA). It covers 18 Canberra community services and more than 80 per cent of workers are women. 

“For more than a year, the ACT government has refused to listen. We are asking the Fair Work Commission to intervene to force the government to the negotiating table to give essential workers a fair and equitable deal,” Mr McFarland said. 

“These workers are doing some of the toughest jobs out there. They are on the frontline of the homelessness crisis, and dealing with the endemic of domestic and sexual violence, every day. 

“To thank them, the ACT government is withholding paid parental, and paid family and domestic violence, leave that is available to those in the public sector.

“There aren’t enough community service workers as it is. Continuing to deny them basic conditions readily available to government employees will only exacerbate the shortage. 

“We are optimistic the Fair Work Commission can facilitate a sensible and long-overdue outcome for the ACT’s community service workers.” 

Media contact: Georgie Moore 0477 779 928

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