ACTU Secretary Sally McManus (Photo: Twitter)

June 15, 2022

The Fair Work Commission has lifted wages for 2.7 million Australians: 5.2 per cent for workers on the minimum wage and 4.6 per cent for employees on awards.

The annual wage review decision, announced on Wednesday, has lifted minimum hourly payments from $20.33 an hour to $21.38.

The ACTU says the decision will put an extra $40 a week in the pocket of a full-time worker on the minimum wage.

Unions had called for a 5.5 per cent increase while some employer groups had suggested either no rise or a limited rises of up to 3.2 per cent.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus said the union movement had fought hard for this increase.

“If it were not for unions, with employers pushing for big real wage cuts, Australian working people and their families would see no relief from cost-of-living pressures,” Ms McManus said.

“This Annual Wage Review is one tool we have to generate wage growth but it only affects one-in-four workers – we need wage growth across the economy.

“Clearly the current system is failing. It is unable to deliver wage increases despite low unemployment, high productivity and high profits.

“Our country needs to take a fresh look at this problem and address it. It is not acceptable that working Australians and their families continue to go backwards while big business does so well.”

The ACTU believes as many as 8.5 million Australian workers will not benefit from Wednesday’s decision.

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The Electrical Trades Union says Wednesday’s decision has failed the needs of apprentices.

The union says a First Year electrical apprentice who already earns less than 60 per cent of the minimum wage will receive just $20.69 per week extra.

In fact, from July 1, a first year apprentice electrician’s wages would decrease from 58.2 per cent of the minimum wage to 57.9 per cent.

“It just got harder for an apprentice electrician to complete their training,” acting ETU national secretary Michael Wright said.

Apprentice completion rates currently sit at only 52 per cent.

“This country needs to get serious about skilling up Australians,” Mr Wright said.

“Thanks to this decision you earn more working two weekend penalty rate shifts on minimum wage than you do for a full week as an apprentice.

“No wonder our completion rates are a disgrace. Young workers are having to quit their trade just to make ends meet.

“This is bad news for them, bad news for the industry and bad news for the nation.”


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