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Governance Community Services

Australian Services Union says it’s “time to take the shackles off the community sector”

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Australian Services Union

The Australian Services Union welcomed Federal Labor’s commitment to reverse the underinvestment and neglect of the community sector and its workforce, which has shackled it for years.

Assistant National Secretary of the Australian Services Union Emeline Gaske said workers in the sector which supports some of our most vulnerable Australians deserve respect and support, not the neglect and disdain that characterises the current Government’s approach.

“These workers have carried us through the pandemic, providing support to communities, people with disability and mental health issues, homeless people, families, women escaping violence, and instead of support they have been gagged, and starved of funds.

“Many of the solutions to the challenges facing this sector have been advocated by workers through their union for years – more certainty in funding, decent pay and working conditions, ending revolving competitive tendering – yet they have fallen on deaf ears.

“These reforms announced by Labor today will ensure community workers have better job security and pay, and the support they need to do their important work.”

Ms Gaske said this policy also reverses the draconian, effective-ban the Federal Government has placed on the community sector’s right to advocate for their vulnerable clients.

“The community sector has been bullied and intimidated by this Government, held to ransom through their funding arrangements and this has to stop.

“Advocating to Government, privately and publicly, is part and parcel the role of community services organisations, charities and their workers, to ensure the vulnerable are properly supported.

“The simple reason the Prime Minster has gagged the community sector and charities is because he is frightened of what they would say otherwise – that his Government has brought community services to its knees with underfunding and failed policies.

“We welcome Labor’s commitment to a better future for community sector workers.”

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