ACTU – “Why?”

04 Oct 2018 |

Australia’s largest business voice, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, asks a simple question about the ACTU’s plan to expose Australia to rolling, industry-wide strikes – “Why?”

“Claims of stagnant wages and job insecurity simply don’t reflect the facts. There is only one explanation for the ACTU’s grievances – they are struggling to be relevant,” Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said today.

“The reality is the key driver of wages growth is increased productivity, and the Australian experience is that employees and employers understand the best way to achieve this is by working together.

“With only 9% of Australian private sector employees choosing to join a union (38% of the public service are members), the union business model doesn’t stack up.

“The union movement wants there to be conflict in the workplace because they believe it will help them to recruit members  – regardless of whether that conflict is warranted.

“Australia by nature is an optimistic and united country and our economy is developing rapidly as businesses work hard to stay competitive in a changing world.

“It is time for unions to adapt, as businesses have, not to revert back to the tired old tactics of yesteryear.”

“It’s time for the ACTU to put aside the politics of division, doom and gloom and acknowledge the facts,” Mr Pearson said:


Minimum Wages

  • Australia has the second highest Minimum Wages in the world. 
  • Just 1.9% of Australian employees are paid the National Minimum Wage. 
    (Source: ABS 2017, Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2016, cat. no. 6306.0, published and unpublished data [including Department of Jobs and Small Business calculations] from Australian Government Submission to the Fair Work Commission Annual Wage Review 2018, 13 March 2018, Chart 2.1.)

Wages Growth 

  • The past NINE annual minimum wage increases have been ABOVE inflation.
    (Source: refer footnote)

Average Wages

Small Business and Wages

Job Security

Penalty Rates

Footnote. Award Wages Growth 

In 2010, there was a flat $26 increase, which took the minimum wage from $543.90 [1] to $569.90.

This equates to 4.8% ([2010] FWAFB 4000)                            CPI [para 7]

2011 Decision ([2011] FWAFB 3400)  Wage rise [para 334]    CPI [para 147]
2012 Decision ([2012] FWAFB 5000)  Wage rise [para 27]     CPI [para 76]
2013 Decision ([2013] FWCFB 4000)  Wage Rise [para 44]   CPI [para 207]
2014 Decision ([2014] FWCFB 3500)  Wage rise [para 619]  CPI  [para 25]
2015 Decision ([2015] FWCFB 3500)  Wage rise [para 72]    CPI  [para 201]
2016 Decision ([2016] FWCFB 3500)  Wage rise [para 102]  CPI  [para 39]
2017 Decision ([2017] FWCFB 3500)  Wage rise [para 95]    CPI  [para 190]
2018 Decision ([2018] FWCFB 3500)  Wage rise [para 490]  CPI  [para 257]

Duncan Bremner

Director - Public Affairs and Advocacy

P  |  0448 822 666

E  |  [email protected]

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