Media Releases

Secure jobs, better pay bill is the action SA workers need

October 27, 2022

The Albanese Government has acted on their election promise to get wages moving and make workplaces fairer for women with the introduction of the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill.

This Bill takes important steps towards modernising our bargaining system to help Australians get the pay rises they deserve, and to begin to address the unprecedented real wage cuts they are experiencing. Collective bargaining is the engine of wage growth but has not been working for ten years, with only one in seven workers today covered by a collective agreement.

"After a decade of deliberate government policy to keep wage growth low, we're finally seeing some action. Our current system has failed workers. Despite low unemployment, high productivity and even higher profits over many years, workers haven't seen their wages keep up," said SA Unions Secretary Dale Beasley.

Yesterday the ABS inflation figure for Adelaide rose to 8.4% which is the 2nd highest in the nation, however wage growth is only around 2.6%.

"The self-serving pearl clutching we're hearing from the business lobby over 'runaway wages' are a fantasy and simply not backed up by the facts," said Beasley.

The legislation also contains significant and long-overdue reforms to make workplaces more respectful and equitable for women including stronger laws to tackle the gender pay gap and stop sexual harassment in workplaces.

Fulfilling election promises to abolish the wasteful and politicised bodies of the previous Government is welcome, but more needs to be done to stop wage theft across the economy.

"Australians need a pay rise, it's what they voted for in May, the government has a mandate to act on this and that's what they're doing," said Beasley.