July 8, 2019 News

By Justin Power, Assistant Secretary

Each year, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) conducts its Annual Wage Review. This review forms a key part of lifting wages for retail and fast food workers.

What did we achieve this year?

The FWC granted a 3% pay rise from Monday, 1 July 2019. The SDA pushed for a larger wage increase through the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) but the independent umpire granted a 3% increase.

This means that if an individual member receives a gross wage of $500 per week, he will receive a $15.00 wage increase. This also means that if an individual member receives a gross wage of $800 per week, she will receive a $24.00 wage increase.

The SDA strongly supports the ACTU’s submission to raise wages each year. Unfortunately, many employer organisations argue for a minimal wage increase and in fact, some employer groups argue that workers should receive a zero increase.

Raising the minimum wage is an important key in curbing inequality and maintaining the fair Australian way of life.

I work under an Enterprise Agreement. Does the Annual Wage Review impact on my wages?

Many Enterprise Agreement pay rises are linked to the outcome of the Annual Wage Review. For example, Woolworths and Coles retail members’ wage increases are determined by the FWC’s decision. Woolworths and Coles members should also note that this increase will vary if they are currently on a protected or transitional rate of pay.

The wider economy

The 3% increase also helps the retail industry in two important areas. SDA members who rely on the annual FWC increase will receive an increase and it has to be remembered that our members are shoppers too. I know they will spend a large percentage of their increase in their place of work and secondly, other workers will spend a large percentage of their increase in the shops and fast food outlets where our members work.

This can only be good for the businesses where our members work.

Your Membership Delivers

This 3% pay increase is a direct result of workers joining their trade union. Imagine for a moment if there was no SDA and no unions. Union membership allows the SDA and the ACTU to continue the important work of pushing for pay rises and other improvements in conditions for working people..

Each year, the ACTU puts forward a strong case for pay increases in the Annual Wage Review because the union movement knows that the rising cost of living continues to put pressure on union members and their families.

As the cost of everything else continues to rise, we understand how important this 3% pay increase is but we also acknowledge that wages must continue to be lifted in the future.

It is important to note that pay rises are not given; they are won by unions like the SDA.

Yes, it does pay to be an SDA member.