STATE and federal governments have pledged an extra $14.5 million to cover a massive pay rise owed to more than 9000 workers in Tasmania's community sector.
Premier Lara Giddings will today announce the state government will top up its commitment by $7.04 million to cover an expected shortfall.
The federal government has also agreed to put in $7.5 million over four years, taking the total cost of the increase to $44.5 million by 2016.
That is just half the amount owed to the state's carers, social workers and child protection workers after a landmark equal pay case led to Fair Work Australia granting them between 19 and 40 per cent extra to be phased in over eight years.
Ms Giddings will outline the commitment in her address on the first day of Parliament for the year today. She said the funding would ensure the state's vulnerable citizens continued to receive high quality care and support.
"For too long workers in the community sector, predominantly women, have been disadvantaged by low wages and the stress of struggling to make ends meet," she said.
"Without fair pay, community service providers would become increasingly unsustainable - unable to attract and retain staff."
The hole in the funding already allocated to meet the pay rise was revealed in a "salary census" conducted last year.
Tasmania's Council of Social Services said the announcement would come as a big relief.
TasCoss chief executive officer Tony Reidy said the census revealed the state government's $3million allocation in 2012-13 was just enough to meet the first instalment, but provisions in the forward estimates would have caused "serious difficulties".
The pay rise will cost taxpayers $7.6 million next financial year, increasing to $19.5 million in 2015-16. Mr Reidy said the pay rise was deserved.
"It's not putting the sector ahead of anyone else, it's just keeping up."