The Australian Services Union says NSW Labor’s plan to transition to minimum five-year funding terms for community service providers will create more stability for workers and better services for the communities they support.
A NSW Labor Government would create long-term funding arrangements for the community services sector, putting an end to organisations reapplying for funding every few months or years.
“The Labor announcement, if implemented, will mean more job security for the thousands of workers in the community sector in NSW. It also commits to a better way of funding community services – ending the race to the bottom on wages and conditions between providers and upholding Award conditions in funding contracts,” said ASU NSW & ACT Secretary Angus McFarland.
“Community service workers change the lives of vulnerable people including people with disabilities, women fleeing domestic violence, and disadvantaged youth. They have supported our state through the pandemic, fires, floods and drought. Those workers should not have to stress about whether or not their own job will be there year after year. They deserve better than that.
“The need to sing for your supper every two years creates uncertainty for service delivery and job security. We’re seeing too many amazing programs running on a pilot or short-term basis because organisations are running on shoestring budgets that restrict long-term planning.
“We’re also seeing workers leaving the sector because there’s no guarantee there’ll be funding for their job in months’ time. Organisations are spending too much time competing with each other for short-term funding, instead of concentrating on the vital services they provide to the community.
“Our union has long been calling for guaranteed funding terms and NSW Labor’s plan would finally deliver. Adopting longer-term funding will create secure jobs in the female dominated industry to ultimately improve support for clients who depend on them.”