Wages stay low even as award rises kick in

Wages stay low even as award rises kick in

Pay rises for working people in Australia have remained low with the Wage Price Index rising only one fifth of a percentage point, even as minimum wage rises won by the union movement kick in across the economy.

In the latest figures headline annual wages growth was 2.3 percent, up one fifth of a percentage point from the June quarter’s figures.

The ABS noted that much of the increase was attributable to rises in the minimum wage and award wages, which unions and working people fought for in June this year.

People’s pay is not growing nearly as quickly as key living costs like housing, transport, petrol, electricity and childcare.

Since 2002 productivity has grown on average twice as fast as real wages.


Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Australia needs a pay rise. Profits are going up, living costs are going up, but our wages are flatlining.

“This means that big business owners and shareholders are taking more than their fair share, and leaving less for the rest of us.

“We need to change the rules so working people have the tools to negotiate fair pay rises and more secure jobs.

“The only times that employers grant pay rises are when the law requires them to or when working people have the collective power to win them.

“While we won a minimum wage increase for people on award wages, working people don’t have the tools they need to win fair pay rises above the minimum and in the rest of the economy.

“We need to fix our bargaining system so that working people can negotiate with real decision makers across industries and sectors to lock in fair pay rises and stop the race to the bottom on pay.”