Skip to main content

The NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) is calling for urgent action to help the NGO sector meet recent 5.2 per cent minimum wage and 4.6 per cent award minimum wage increases set by the Fair Work Commission.

NCOSS CEO, Joanna Quilty, said that on the eve of the NSW Budget, Treasurer Matt Kean should be prioritising adequate indexation for the sector.

“The national minimum wage and award minimum wage increases were met with open arms by NCOSS. They represent much needed pay rises and improved economic security for the social service sector’s female dominated workforce which for too long has been undervalued. But they cannot be applied in isolation,” Ms Quilty said.

“Our sector typically operates year-to-year when it comes to indexation security. It’s not a given and how much gets passed on is at the Government’s discretion. Now more than ever with the rise in minimum wages, plus the 0.5% increase to superannuation, we need certainty and support.

“Frontline services will be required to meet these wage increases for their staff as well as other rising costs of service provision. But without adequate indexation to cover this, services risk being cut.

“A direct result of this will be reduced support to people who are homeless, households who cannot afford to put food on the table, women and children fleeing violent situations and people struggling with serious health issues.

“Communities are doing it exceptionally tough after the last two years in which we have endured the COVID pandemic, a growing housing crisis and natural disasters. Now isn’t the time to reduce essential services.”

Ms Quilty is urging the NSW Government to prioritise the needs of the social service sector so they can continue their vital work in communities across NSW.

“If adequate indexation is not passed on services will have to decrease their operating hours and even close – staff hours will have to be cut and job losses will loom for our workforce.

“The sector has already experienced an exodus of staff who have moved to other industries which offer better pay and conditions so they themselves can meet cost-of-living demands.

“That’s why today I implore the NSW Government to take a big picture view that recognises that adequate indexation to cover minimum wage increases benefits those doing it toughest, improves women’s economic security and supports a more sustainable social service sector at a time when demand is rising due to cost of living pressures.”

For more information, and to read a copy of the NCOSS Pre-Budget Submission, visit

Media contact: Nick Trainor 0407 078 138