Community Services Minister Andrew Barr. Photo: Rohan Thomson
The ACT government has denied it is withholding any money due to the community sector, as more than 200 workers are set to walk off the job on Wednesday to rally outside the Legislative Assembly.
Community Services Minister Andrew Barr disputed claims by the Australian Services Union ACT branch that wage increases ordered by Fair Work Australia last year had failed to be passed on to territory workers in the sector.
''The ACT government is not withholding any money - all ACT and Commonwealth money has been passed on,'' Mr Barr said.
''There are a number of local organisations who already pay at or above the award rate, and the [Social and Community Services] agreement was about lifting everyone up to the award rate, and that's what the SACS funding is designed to do.
''As such, not all organisations will be receiving additional funds - but all workers not at the award rate will be lifted to the award rate, and many others are already paid above, thanks to their employers.''
ASU ACT branch secretary Sally McManus said equal pay increases were important in bridging the gap between men and women's pay.
''The ACT government has decided to freeze their pay and not to do anything about the gender pay gap that exists in the community sector, and this is really totally outrageous,'' Ms McManus said.
In an equal remuneration order early last year, Fair Work Australia granted wage rate increases of between 19 per cent and 41 per cent for community sector workers across the country, to be implemented over eight years in nine instalments starting from December last year.
Mr Barr tweeted on Tuesday evening that ''ALL community sector organisations have been given 3 per cent wages indexation in addition to the ERO increases.''
Workers will rally in Civic Square, at 12.30pm on Wednesday.