Who’s trying to stop you getting a pay rise?

Published: 30/04/2021
Category: Minimum wage
Published: 30/04/2021
Category: Minimum wage

At Australian Unions, we want to see wages grow, spending grow and the economy grow. So, each year we make our case for an increase to the minimum wage.

But some big business executives would rather line their own pockets than improve the lives and working conditions for all.

We’ve rounded up the last five years of Annual Wage Review submissions to see who is trying to stop you getting a pay rise.

What is the Annual Wage Review (AWR)?

In Australia, the independent workplace umpire, the Fair Work Commission, sets the minimum wage for employees under our national workplace relations system.

They review the minimum wage every year, basing their decision on their own research and submissions by unions, business lobby groups and employer organisations.

While Australian Unions use the AWR to fight for a pay rise for workers, big business groups actively lobby for wage increases to be frozen or to have a minimal increase.

So who are these business groups trying to stop wage increases? Let’s take a look at three of the worst offenders.

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association

Zero. Zero. Zero. Zero. Zero.

That’s right – for five consecutive years the Restaurant and Catering Industry Association (RCA) have refused to recommend a pay increase for their workers.

And while the industry may be known for casual or inconsistent work, there are comparative industries pushing for better wages for their employees – like the Australian Retailer’s Association who have regularly pushed for a 1.2% – 1.9% increase.

Housing Industry Association

What’s just as bad as suggesting zero? Not suggesting a figure at all.

For four out of the last five years, the Housing Industry Association has not proposed a figure.

To make things worse they recommended any wage review be deferred in 2020, when workers were doing it the hardest.

The HIA haven’t exactly laid a foundation for better wages for their employees.

Australian Hotels Associations

Approximately 9.4 million tourists visited Australia in 2019, a record number, and a 2.8% increase on the 2018 figure.

You would think this would mean great things for employees in the hotel industry but think again.

In 2016 the AHA submitted that they would “Preferably suggest zero increase, but no more than 1.2%”. No luck at the inn for AHA members.

How does your industry stack up?

Has your industry got your back when it comes to lobbying for a pay rise, or are they putting themselves first?

Below you is a summary of industry Annual Wage Review submissions figures from the last five years.

 20162017201820192020
Cwlth GovtNo figure proposedNo figure proposedNo figure proposedNo figure proposedNo figure proposed
Ai Group1.6%1.5%1.8%2%0, but if anything is given defer it to January
ACCINo more than 1.2%No more than 1.2%1.9% or less1.8% or less0, but if anything is given defer it to January
NSW Business ChamberNo more than 2%Not more than 1.8%1.9% or less.2.3% or less0
Australian Retailers AssociationNot more than 1.2%1.2% on NMW, no figure proposed for awards but says should be considered on an award by award basis.1.9% for NMW, no figure put for awards but says should be considered on an award by award basis1.8% to NMW, no figure proposed for awards.0 or not more than CPI and defer till Feb for retail.
National Retail AssociationNo more than $10.10 per week increase flat, or if a % average impact should be $10.10 per week.1.5% to NMW, no figure proposed for Awards.01.8% or less 
Housing Industry AssociationNo figure proposedNo figure proposed No figure proposedNo figure specified, but said it should be deferred.
Master GrocersNo more than 1.1%No more than 1.1%1.1% or less1.2% or less.0 or defer anything that is awarded.
National Farmers Federation1.1%No more than 1% No figure proposed.0
Restaurant and Catering Industry Association00000
South Australian Wine Industry AssociationPreferably 0, but otherwise a fllat dollar increase no higher than inflation.Flat dollar increase no higher than inflation.Flat dollar increase no higher than inflation.Flat dollar increase no higher than inflation.Below CPI and defer for 2 weeks
Chamber of Commerce QLD$7.90 per week increase, with exemption for industries subject to natural disasters.$8.10 per week increase.1.9% or less for NMW.  No figure proposed for awards but seeks exemption for businesses subject to natural disasters.1.8% or less, but defer for 6 months in natural disaster effected regions 
Chamber of Commerce WA$7.90 per week increase.$8.10 per week increase on NMW, no figure proposed for awards.No figure proposed.No figure proposed. 
Australian Hotels AssociationPreferably 0 but no more than 1.2%No figure proposed1.9% or less  

Join the push for better wages

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Who’s trying to stop you getting a pay rise?

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Who’s trying to stop you getting a pay rise?