Media Releases

SA Unions maintains call for urgent wage action as business confidence soars

May 11, 2022

SA Unions maintains call for urgent wage action as business confidence soars

11 May 2022

As business confidence in SA soars and worker productivity growth reaches 10.3% over the last decade, unions stand firm on their claim for 5.5% increase to the minimum wage.

One quarter of the workforce rely on pay increases provided by the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Minimum Wage Review. The increase would lift the hourly rate in the minimum adult wage from $20.33 to $21.45, the weekly rate from $772.60 to $815.09 and the annual rate from $40,175.20 to $42,384.84.

Inflation is already at 5.1 per cent and the RBA is now predicting it will reach 5.5 per cent by mid-year. A minimum wage increase which matches inflation will ensure low paid workers do not go backwards in the midst of the Morrison Government’s accelerating cost of living crisis.

Quotes attributable to SA Unions Secretary Dale Beasley:

“The NAB Business Survey has shown South Australia is enjoying the strongest business confidence in the nation. At the same time, South Aussie workers are doing it tough, after a decade of low wage growth.”

“We’re seeing the typical feverish responses from some in the business community to this claim, but the reality is that businesses can afford to increase pay. In fact without significant wage action workers will lose another $2000 from the value of their wages this year, which will slash worker’s ability to spend.

“Worker’s productivity has grown by 10.3 per cent since 2013. Workers shouldn’t have to cop a permanent reduction in their earnings because of inflation and cost of living pressure they haven’t caused, especially when they have delivered such strong productivity growth.”

“SA Unions applauds the stance on higher wages from Labor Leader Anthony Albanese. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison refuses to even acknowledged that all workers should earn at least the minimum wage.”

“Scott Morrison’s Government’s submission to the Fair Work Commission is silent on backing a pay increase that keeps up with the cost of living.”

“Other Governments and even some employers are backing cost of living pay increases. By doing nothing, the Federal Government continues a nine year run of only acting to keep wage increases low and not lifting a finger to ensure working Australians have pay rises that secure their living standards.”

“Scott Morrison’s failure to act to back working people is a danger to the economy. Every dollar working people lose in real terms is a dollar not spent in local businesses.”