Latest news

SA's lowest paid workers dudded by $22 a week wage rise

June 06, 2017

Today's decision by Fair Work Australia to raise the minimum wage by just $22.00 a week - or 59 cents an hour - is a cruel blow to South Australia's lowest paid workers.

SA Unions State Secretary, Joe Szakacs says the pathetic pay rise - coupled with penalty rate cuts coming on July 1 - means that many workers will still lose money from their weekly pay.

"We know that the average retail and hospitality worker will lose $2,400 a year when penalty rates are cut, so the decision today by the Fair Work Commission to raise wages by $1,155 a year means they are going backwards."

"Our system is broken if Fair Work can so easily condemn our already lowest paid workers to more hardship."

"As the minimum wage falls further and further behind average wages, all workers on Awards have reasons to worry."

"We have record low wage-growth in Australia and a slowing economy.  Cutting wages will do nothing to stimulate economic activity."

Mr Szakacs says that national economic data for the year to March shows business in Australia is booming, with profits up 39.7 per cent, while wages growth is a dismal 0.9 per cent.

Key facts on minimum wage earners

  • 2.3 million workers, nearly one in four, are dependent on the minimum wage or award only.

  • Minimum wage workers are mostly women (57.5 per cent) and are typically younger than the workforce as a whole (average age of minimum wage worker is 35.7 while average age of all workers is 39.5).

  • Many of the workers who are impacted by today's decision work in cleaning, sales, community/personal services and hospitality.