Minimum wage - ACTU Australian Unions

The minimum wage should be a living wage

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 2.3 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, unions won an increase to the national minimum wage of $24.32 per week, to $18.93 per hour or $719.20 per week for permanent workers, and it’s $23.66 per hour if you are casual.  (Rates applicable to people aged 21 and over). This is equivalent to a 3.5% pay rise.

If you, or someone you know is being paid less than the national minimum wage, get in touch so we can help. 

This increase is a step in the right direction, and takes us closer to our goal of the minimum wage being 60% of the median wage.

According to the OECD, pegging the minimum wage at 60% of the median wage is what’s required to ensure that every full-time worker in Australia can survive on their wage.

Australia needs a pay rise and we have to change the rules on the minimum wage.

It is time to live up to the promises of the Harvester judgment and restore a minimum wage that is "fair and reasonable" and sufficient to provide a standard of living that is suitable for a contemporary human being living in a civilized community.