The ACTU is the peak body for Australian unions and is the only national union confederation in Australia.   For more than 90 years, the ACTU has played the leading role in advocating for the rights and conditions for working people and their families.

We are governed by our triennial Congress, which comprises union representatives from “shop floor” delegates to national officials.   Our Congress has democratically adopted a position to pursue a living wage so as to reduce poverty and inequality, improve the absolute and relative living standards of award dependent workers and reduce the gap between award and agreement rates of pay.   We are committed to the pursuit of a National Minimum Wage which reaches 60% of the full-time median wage.  

We accept that the Panel cannot adopt the same position as we do, either as a target or as an immediate outcome in an Annual Wage Review.   This is a consequence of the law that binds how the Panel must make its decisions.   Reconciling our position with the approach that the Panel is required to take leads us to seek an increase to the minimum wage and modern award minimum wages which is compatible with statutory criteria but also makes uniform, real and meaningful progress towards the objectives determined by working people we represent.

We present a considerable amount of data, research and commentary in this submission in support of the position we put on behalf of those we represent.