CTU MEDIA RELEASE
07 August 2006
Wage Increase Momentum Needs to Continue
"With our wages 35% below Australia, workers need to get organised and bargain collectively in unions to achieve regular increases at above the rate of inflation," Council of Trade Unions Economist Peter Conway said today.
Latest wage statistics out today show private sector wages increased by 3% on average in the year to June 2006 compared with inflation of 4%. However, for those workers who actually got a wage increase last year, the average across the board was 5.4% and the median 4.2%.
"Workers are feeling the pinch with house prices outstripping wages, high transport and electricity costs, and a recent period of very high fruit and vegetable prices," Peter Conway said.
"It is important that we maintain the momentum of wage increases. If we are to address New Zealand's low wages problem we need wages to rise on a regular basis and at a decent level."
"Although the economy is slowing, and cost pressures have been rising, profits are still holding up in general," he said.