Australia’s a great place to live with a high standard of living, and we want to keep it that way.
A cornerstone of our way of life is a decent wage - not just a minimum wage but a living wage. A decent wage that includes penalty rates, overtime allowances and paid leave. A national minimum wage provides the income floor for all workers in Australia.
Australian Unions fought for the minimum wage when it was established more than a century ago and today 1.86 million workers rely on the annual wage case run by unions.
These days it’s getting harder and harder for people and families to make ends meet. Especially now when there are no guarantees about job security.
Some Australians are working two, even three jobs, just to keep their head above water.
That’s why it’s more important than ever that unions are out there protecting the pay and conditions that make up a decent wage.
This year, Australian Unions are seeking to boost the National Minimum Wage by $27 per week, to $17.58 per hour or $667.90 per week. This is equivalent to a 4.2% pay rise.
For other workers above the benchmark C10 tradesperson’s rate, unions are seeking a 3.6% pay rise.
The ACTU is also asking the Fair Work Commission to increase compulsory superannuation contributions for workers on award minimum wages to compensate them for the cut to their retirement savings because of the Abbott Government’s decision to freeze superannuation increases.
A full-time worker on the national minimum wage will be $3.20 per week, or $167.09 per year, worse off as a result of the Abbott Government’s decision to stop the increase from 9.5 per cent to 10 per cent on July 1 this year.
The ACTU will seek to compensate workers for this loss by claiming an extra 0.5 per cent to the minimum super contribution in awards in addition to an increase in minimum wages.
Now is not the time for the Federal Government to be backing big business as they come after the take home pay of hard working Australians.
Unions will not stand by and allow the Australian way of life to be eroded - heading down a path towards a class of those who are permanently working poor.
That’s why Australian Unions will this year again argue for an increase to the minimum wage, fight to protect conditions like penalty rates and overtime and will stand up against the demands of big business.
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