June 7, 2017 Member News

The Fair Work Commission has handed down the Annual Wage Case, which determines the annual pay rise for workers covered by Modern Awards.

What does this mean for workers covered by Awards?

In 2017, the Fair Work Commission determined a 3.3% increase to the National Minimum Wage and a 3.3% increase to Modern Awards which cover retail, fast food and pharmacy workers.

This means on 1 July 2017, all workers covered by the Retail, Fast Food and Pharmacy Awards will receive a 3.3% pay rise.

We know it’s vital for your wages go to up each year. The cost of living continues to go up – from the price of groceries to electricity bills to university fees and health insurance.

While the SDA welcomes any increase to the pay of retail, fast food and pharmacy workers – this was not the $45 per week increase sought by unions, including the SDA.

At a time of record low wage growth and cuts to penalty rates, workers need pay rises to keep up with increasing cost of living.

That’s why we fought for a $45 per week increase to the Minimum Wage.

In contrast, employer lobby groups argued for minimal, below inflation increases:

  • Australian Retail Association: 1.2%
  • Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry: 1.2%
  • Australian Industry Group: 1.5%

Stopping penalty rate cuts

The SDA will continue to protect your take-home pay and argue for fair and decent pay rises for retail, fast food and pharmacy workers.

This includes stopping unfair cuts to penalty rates for hundreds and thousands of workers across the country. Despite this increase to Award rates of pay, retail, fast food and pharmacy workers will still be left worse off if cuts to penalty rates go ahead.

The SDA is now filing to appeal the Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut penalty rates to stop changes from coming into effect on 1 July this year.

What does this mean for workers covered by an SDA-negotiated Agreement?

It is critically important for the minimum wage to increase each year because it’s a direct increase to workers covered by Awards but it also means the base from which we negotiate wages in SDA Agreements also increases.

That’s why the SDA and other unions always put forward a strong case to raise the National Minimum Wage and Award rates– because when wages are improved in Modern Awards, the wages floor for Workplace Agreements is also improved.

Whether you are covered by an Award or an Agreement, the SDA is continuing to work hard to ensure that your wages go up.

If you have any questions about your wages or any other workplace matter, please contact the SDA.