A Centre for Future Work report released today warns that the number of Enterprise Agreements (EAs) and the number of workers covered by enterprise agreements is in serious decline leaving more working people unable to negotiate for above-award pay.

The report finds the number of working people covered by agreements in the private sector has dropped by 34 percent – by 662,461 working people – since the end of 2013.

The peak body for working people says that even when working people can bargain, the rules limit their power and protect employer’s interests above all else.

The restrictive enterprise-only bargaining system is failing to deliver working people the pay rises they need to stay ahead of the cost of living.


Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:  

“Everyone should be able to sit at the table and negotiate a fair pay rise that keeps them ahead of the cost of living. But under our current rules, that isn’t the reality for most working people.

“This large decline in the number of working people covered by agreements shows that our bargaining system isn’t delivering.

“If we don’t fix our bargaining system people won’t win fair pay rises.

“Workers in most of the developed world can bargain for sector or multi-employer agreements.  

 “We need these rights for today’s economy to turn around inequality.”