Better Wages, We’re worth it

April 23, 2024 News

by Tony Stapleton
Assistant Secretary

One of the long-standing goals of the union movement is dignity in employment. If you’re working, no matter your occupation, you should be able to keep a roof over your head and food in your stomach.

In recent times, that has not been the case. Inflation after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a wide-spread cost of living issue. Food went up. Housing went up. Utilities went up. It’s hard to find anything that is a similar price to what it was just a few years ago.

Inflation has now started to ease – but Australian wages are still lagging behind the cost of living. That’s why the SDA is again campaigning to lift the wages of shop and warehouse workers in the Annual Wage Review (AWR) case before the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

The AWR is the process that sets the wage increases in Awards in Australia, which flow on into many of our SDA-negotiated Agreements too.

Every year, the SDA is part of the process of winning wage rises by working closely with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) as we make submissions to the FWC.

The SDA and ACTU advocate on behalf of workers in Australia for a fair and decent pay increase.

In 2023, the SDA and the ACTU campaigned for a significant increase to combat the rising cost of living and wage stagnation, and we were able to secure a decent pay rise which saw many members receive a 5.75% pay increase. At the time, inflation was 6%.

But despite what was achieved last year, many Australians are still struggling to pay for their basic needs and to live in dignity. Workers will fall further behind if another considerable pay rise is not won in this year’s Award Wage Review.
The cost of everyday essential items continues to remain out of reach for many and members cannot afford to have their wages fall behind the cost of living increases.

The SDA will be campaigning now and over the coming months for better wages both in the AWR case and in all of our enterprise bargaining with different companies.

SDA members’ input is critical to winning better pay, so watch out for SDA Surveys as well as any other opportunities to participate in the SDA pay rise campaign.

Why should SDA members receive a fair pay rise?

It’s simple: SDA members deserve better wages because they’re essential, they’re working harder and because they’re worth it!

Help us secure fair and decent pay rises for Australian workers in 2024 – make sure everyone in your workplace is an SDA member so we can unite together to win better wages. Because you’re worth it.