WA Peaks Communique
Peaks unite to support fairness in procurement to protect security of employment for community service workers
Homelessness services in WA are expecting their eight contract rollover in 10 years by the end of March 2019. It is expected that those rollovers will not include any additional funding to reflect the cost to community managed homelessness services of the Equal Renumeration Order (ERO) or indexation to reflect the growing cost of delivering services. It is also anticipated that there will be little scope for organisations to renegotiate their contracts to reduce the expected deliverables in order to account for the increase in costs.
Services directly impacted by this include women’s refuges and dedicated youth homelessness services.
With funding agreements for several State government funded programs across a range of community service programs up for negotiation in coming months multiple peaks have united to support CEWA and WACOSS’s advocacy to secure fairness in procurement to reflect the obligations of community managed services to pay their workers in accordance with the Equal Remuneration Order.
On Monday 11th March, CEWA, Linkwest, Shelter WA, WAAMH, WACOSS, WANADA, Women’s Council for DFV Services and YACWA came together to discuss the urgent situation facing homelessness services and its implications for other service sectors.
At that meeting peaks discussed the need for collective action by the homelessness sector and other service sectors to force government to act on this issue.
As peak bodies, we recognise the impact that the ERO and indexation is having on employment security for the workforce, the majority of whom are women. We also recognise the flow on effects to sustainability and continuity of services as well as the ability of organisations to employ workers with the necessary skills to support our community. We recognise the ultimate impact this has on the quality of services people receive and the outcomes they experience.
We believe this situation is in direct conflict with the spirit of the ERO and of the spirit of the Delivering Community Services in Partnership Policy
CEOs and Board chairs from organisations from across the community services sector are urged to let their respective peak know the impacts, including loss of service, as a result of the ERO and the unwillingness of the State government to provide sustainable funding.
At this stage, it is critical that service provider organisations commit to contact their relevant Minister and local Members of Parliament in the areas where they provide services, to alert them to the impending loss of services in their community, and to urge them to advocate to the Treasurer the urgency of action on this issue.
To support providers in this effort CEWA and WACOSS have prepared template letters and budgets for you your use – click the link.
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