08 February 2005
Pay Rates Lag Behind Price Rises
Industries are not doing enough to boost pay rates to hold on to skilled workers, Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
The Labour Cost Index showed that private sector ordinary time wages increased by 2.4 per cent in the last year. The Quarterly Employment Survey recorded an increase in average hourly earnings in the private sector at 2.1 per cent.
“Wages are still on average 25 per cent lower than Australia,” Ross Wilson said.
“Wages are lagging behind consumer prices which are up 2.7 per cent, house prices rose nearly 14 per cent last year – and the Government will shortly put the minimum wage up by 5.6 per cent.”
Current levels of profitability and
productivity justified better pay and unions wou
ld be preparing the case for reasonable pay rises for members.
“There needs to be widespread collective bargaining to ensure workers get decent wage increases,” Ross Wilson said.
“What the CTU wants to see is industry groups getting together with unions to address skill shortages, productivity, industry development and infrastructure requirements – as well as how to provide decent pay to attract workers.”