Long Term Funding for Social Services

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


The original motion was moved by Councillor Scott, seconded by Councillor Vithoulkas.

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         City of Sydney Grants and Sponsorships Program Guidelines are updated annually with the latest version published in February 2021;

(ii)        an updated version of the City of Sydney Grants and Sponsorships policy was adopted by Council on 22 February 2021;

(iii)      the Grants and Sponsorships Policy and Program Guidelines have a Community Services grant category which provides funding for “community programs or projects that help increase equality in the local area, develop resilient and adaptive communities and support strong governance and civic engagement for sustainability. The program assists organisations to pilot or trial innovative services or establish a program that addresses an unmet need for City of Sydney residents, workers and visitors”;

(iv)      City of Sydney Community Service Grants provide funding on an annual basis for one to three years;

(v)       most community service workers do not have enterprise agreements and their remuneration and entitlements are instead determined by the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry (SCHADS) Award;

(vi)      in 2010, the Australian Services Union started a campaign for fair pay in the social and community sector. In 2012 this campaign was won and resulted in SCHADS Award pay increases of between 35 per cent to 45 per cent sector wide. These increases have been phased in over eight years from 2012 to 2020;

(vii)     the bulk of increasing operational costs of social and community services over that past eight to nine years have been due to increasing staffing costs as the SCHADS Award has increased;

(viii)    other cost increases of providing social and community services include food, insurance and WHS;

(ix)      increases to the SCHADS Award are now determined annually by the Fair Work Commission based on several factors including annual increases to cost of living and that the community services sector has traditionally been a low paid sector;

(x)       annual increases to the SCHADS Award are determined by the Fair Work Commission and announced in June each year;

(xi)      in June 2021, the SCHADS Award remuneration was increased by 2.5 per cent and super was increased by 0.5 per cent, a total increase of 3.0 per cent; and

(xii)     that Council’s Healthy Communities Sub-Committee considered recommendations for Community Services Grants on 21 June 2021, and Councillors discussed the need for a review of the current grant program in relation to the support of critical community infrastructure. In this discussion, the Chief Executive Officer noted this would be considered in the annual review of the City’s grants program in early 2022.

(B)      the Chief Executive Officer be requested to, in line with the City of Sydney’s City for All Strategy, and as part of the City’s Grants Policy Review, consider the issue of increasing operational costs of essential community services as part of the review of the City of Sydney’s Grants and Sponsorships Policy.

The amended motion was carried unanimously.


Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 20/09/2021

Date of decision: 20/09/2021

Decided at meeting: 20/09/2021 - Council

Accompanying Documents: