Pay decision not enough for living costs

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

Meredith Hammat, Secretary, UnionsWA said:

“Today’s decision to increase the WA minimum wage by 2.75% is welcomed however it won’t go far enough to relieve the financial pressure facing working people and their families.

“An adult working full time on the WA minimum wage will now receive $749.90 per week, an extra $20 per week.

“It is disappointing that this WA decision is lower than the recent decision to increase the National Minimum Wage by 3%.

“Of course, working people on the Minimum Wage in WA are doing it tough and any increase will be welcome.“But in real terms many will go backwards.

“Essential living costs have increased rapidly in WA in recent years.

“Many workers have had their working hours reduced and one in 10 people are now actively seeking increased hours of work.

“For those on low pay in WA, essential costs of living consume much of their wages.

“It is significant to note that, as with the Fair Work Commission nationally, the WA Commission in making its decision has addressed the myth that pay rises lead to job losses by making a pointed reference to there being no evidence of this.

“Growth in wages is an important stimulus to our local economy because the lowest paid by necessity spend locally all they earn.

“The WA Government in its State Wages Policy and its State Wage Case, seeks a flat $1,000 per annum increase.

“This decision today increases the minimum annual wage by just over $1,000, and for those on awards increases will be greater than that.

“The State Wage Case does not only affect those on minimum wages, but also those of State awards."