John Bowler

John Bowler

Former Minister for Local Government; Employment Protection; Racing and Gaming; Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern

    Pay decision is too little, too late for Federal workers

    26/10/2006 4:45 PM

    Employment Protection Minister John Bowler said the Australian Fair Pay Commission’s decision to award minimum wage earners an extra $27.36 per week from December 1 is too little, too late.

    “I am pleased that low-paid employees in the Federal system, who are reliant on the minimum wage to sustain living standards, are at last getting a wage increase,” Mr Bowler said.

    “I am disappointed that these employees have been waiting more than 18 months for a pay increase, while those employees covered by State jurisdictions received increases in June and July this year.

    “The decision of the State tribunals to go ahead with setting minimum wages for State-covered employees has no doubt played an important role in getting the AFPC to consider seriously the needs of the lowly paid.”

    The Minister said while the $27.36 per week increase to the Federal minimum wage was higher than the $20 per week increase granted by the WA Industrial Relations Commission in June this year, on an annualised basis Western Australian employees were still better off overall than employees in the Federal system.

    “Unfortunately, workers cannot bank on this increase given John Howard’s new unfair dismissal laws, which mean job security and the ability to plan for the family Christmas are things of the past,” Mr Bowler said.

    “The AFPC’s decision does not alter the fact that under the Federal Government’s WorkChoices legislation, other employment entitlements can be completely eroded.

    “The real test of how award-reliant employees fair under Work Choices will become evident when total earning figures are measured over time.”

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