Tasmanian workers earn on average $200 a week less than their mainland counterparts; equating to around $10,000 a year.
Union Tasmania and ACTU’s report Tasmania Needs A Pay Rise highlights the severity of the wage crisis in the state, and calls upon decision makers to push through the vital Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill with urgency.
The report also finds that large employers in Tasmania can exploit weak employment laws, paying their workers significantly less than workers in parent companies based on the mainland.
The report cites examples such as the Boags brewery in Launceston which pays its entry level workers $30.01 per hour, while a worker on the mainland earns $33.16 per hour for a comparable position at breweries controlled by Boags’ parent company Lion.
As well as battling a cost-of-living crisis, and the lowest wages in the country, Tasmanians are also experiencing the highest rate of inflation out of all jurisdictions – at 8.6% for the year to September, compared to the national rate of 7.3%.
Tasmania also has some of the highest levels of insecure work in the country – limiting workers’ career prospects and wages, as well as making it difficult for workers to collectivise and bargain for a better deal.
The implementation of the Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill would enable workers to bargain across enterprises and clamp down on the proliferation of insecure types of work, which would deliver real wage growth to working Tasmanians.
Quotes attributable to Unions Tasmania Secretary Jessica Munday:
“We already knew that Australia needs a pay rise, and now we are seriously urging politicians: Let’s do what we need to do and give Tasmanians a much needed pay rise.
“At this rate of growth, we will not see our wages meet the wages of our fellow workers on the mainland until some time in the next century. That is appalling.
“Rent in Hobart is less affordable than in any other capital city, and we’re also paid $200 less a week. The cost of living is hurting across the country but it’s really biting here.
“We need employers here creating meaningful, secure jobs; not taking advantage of us and paying us less.
“The Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill will deliver meaningful change to our industrial relations system – a system that has been failing Tasmanian workers for decades.”