2 million Australians to receive a pay rise after the Fair Work Commission increased the national minimum wage by 3.5%, to $719.20 a week.
This equals an extra $24.30 per week for Australian workers on the Modern Awards.
Australian Unions wanted an increase of $50 per week, while the Australian Industry Group only wanted $12.50.
The ACTU states that the announcement today of an increase to the minimum wage of 3.5% or $24.32 per week, is a step in the right direction but will still leave some full-time workers struggling.
The restoration of a living wage – one of the proudest achievements of the early Australian union movement – remains the goal of our ongoing campaign.
The minimum wage should not leave people in poverty, it should provide a comfortable life for low-paid workers and underpin our labour market.
ACTU Secretary Sally McManus said “This increase is a step in the right direction, and takes us closer to our goal of 60% of the median wage.
“The minimum wage should be pegged at 60% of the median wage. This is the level set by the OECD – that is what’s required to ensure that every full-time worker in Australia can survive on their wage.
“All Australian workers need a pay rise, but none more so than the 2.3 million people who are now award reliant. This 3.5% increase that equates to $26.71 per week for a hospitality worker or $24.33 for a horticulture worker will be a welcome reprieve for them but we will continue to fight for the restoration of a living wage that underpins a much fairer collective bargaining system.
The commission also stated the wage forecast by the Turnbull government was overly optimistic.