Save Equal Pay

ASU members have Saved Equal Pay!

After months of campaigning, thousands of petition signatures and hundreds of emails to MPs – the Federal Government listened to you and in this year’s budget announced that they will fund Equal Pay!

Thank you for your support and taking action to win!

In the 2020 Budget, the Federal Government announced that they would lift base funding in Department of Social Services Grants to cover the costs for Equal Pay wages won by ASU members in 2012. These wage rises – between 23% to 45% over the past 8 years – were won by ASU members in 2012. In 2020 – ASU members have saved jobs and services, and Saved Equal Pay.

From 1 July 2021, the Federal Government has committed to more than $44million per year to lift base funding in Department of Social Services to cover the Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) for Equal Pay.

This covers the following Federal programs funded by Department of Social Services: Youth, Disability, Families, Financial Counselling, & Emergency Relief.

We are informed the commitment to cover ERO in base funding is beyond DSS. For example, it is already in the Attorney General’s Department funding

What does this mean?

We’ve won our campaign to save frontline jobs
We’ve won our campaign to stop pay cuts
We’ve won our campaign for recognition of your essential work in social and community services
You campaigned, and the Government has listened

Thank you for your support and taking action to win, but there is still work to be done

We need to make sure that this decision applies across all Federal Departments, and that no job is left out or service missed. Our particular area of concern is Partnership Funding where Federal and State Governments have shared funding arrangements, especially Housing and Homelessness.

We need to contact State Ministers to get them to call on Federal Government to meet this commitment in Partnership negotiations, so that no job is left out or service missed in our victory for Equal Pay.

Learn more in our budget update

News, reports and research

ASU Equal Pay Case

In 2012 ASU members won 23% to 45% pay rises. The Fair Work Commission ordered that Equal Pay increases on our Award wages be phased in over eight years – with the final instalment in December 2020.

These increases were won because of a long campaign by ASU members.

The Fair Work Commission agreed with us that:

  1. The vast majority of workers in our industry are women, and
  2. The nature of the work (“care work”) has traditionally been undervalued as it has been viewed as “women’s work”
  3. Therefore, our sector wages needed to be lifted to recognise this. We argued that our wages should be on par with public sector jobs that are similar to ours.

Not only did we win the argument in the Fair Work Commission, we also won billions of dollars in state and federal government funding to cover the cost of these wage increases.

It was a history victory for all workers in our sector – thanks to union members.

What does Equal Pay mean for you?

Twice every year since 2012 our rates of pay have increased. Members are between $200 and $594 better off per week.

Here’s how Equal Pay has made a difference to three levels of members’ weekly pay.

Join your union

The ASU is the union for social & community services workers.

As a member of the ASU you also get:
• access to on demand free career training and webinars to help develop your skills
• many discounts as part of our Member Advantage program at places like Woolworths, Coles and Dan Murphys
• tax deductible membership fees

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For Social & Community Services workers, contact your Australian Services Union State or Territory Branch:

Queensland: The Services Union Queensland – (07) 3844 5300
New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory: ASU NSW & ACT Services -(02) 9310 4000
South Australia & Northern Territory: ASU SA & NT – (08) 8363 1322
Victoria & Tasmania: ASU Victorian & Tasmanian Authorities and Services – 1300 855 570
Western Australia: ASU WA –

We do not share your information with anyone. We will use it to communicate with you about the campaign. To find out more see our Privacy Policy

Authorised by Emeline Gaske, Assistant National Secretary, Australian Services Union.
Ground floor, 116 Queensberry Street, Carlton South VIC 3053