WA pay decision a missed opportunity for economy and fairness

UnionsWA has today commented on the decision by WA Industrial Relations Commission in the State Wage Case, which sets wages for around a hundred thousand working West Australians on the WA Minimum Wage and reliant awards including many trainees and apprentices.

Meredith Hammat, Secretary, UnionsWA said:

“Economically, times are pretty tough in WA right now.

“This pay decision is particularly disappointing as it is a missed opportunity.

“Low paid working people spend all that they earn on essential living expenses and so increasing their pay would provide a much-needed boost to our local economy.

“Wages growth in WA is the weakest it has been in the last three decades; and for the past three years, has been lower than wages growth nationally.

“Today’s decision will come into effect from the first pay period after 1 July, 2017 and result in a WA Adult Minimum wage of $708.90 per week for full time work, an hourly rate of $18.65.

“While any wage increase is welcome, a $16 pw increase, equal to a 2.3% increase, still leaves low-paid workers well behind compared to average weekly earnings.

“Those working people who rely on state awards that are on low-paid classifications at C14 to C11 have been granted a flat $16 per week increase. 

“Those on state awards classified at C10 through C1, on closer to middle-level wages, have been granted a 2.3% increase in wages.

“Again, this year, the peak employer body, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, recommended that the lowest-paid working people get no increase at all.

“The McGowan Government, in its first submission to the State Wage Case, asked for an increase of $19.20 per week for a full-time adult on the minimum wage, equal to a 2.8% increase over the Minimum Wage. 

“UnionsWA had recommended a flat $45 per week increase for the lowest paid in WA, equal to a 6.5% for a full-time adult on the minimum wage.

“There are more people working casual or part time jobs than ever.

"About 100,000 working people in WA rely on the minimum wage and live week to week, with no spare change.”


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