|WACOSS has welcomed the Fair Work Commission’s $40 (5.2%) increase to the national minimum wage and 4.6% increase to modern award minimum wages, slightly above the 5.1% increase to cost of living nationally over the last year.
WACOSS CEO Louise Giolitto said today’s increase to the National minimum wage has left workers hopeful that a rise to wages in Western Australia will follow above the state’s record inflation of 7.6% over the last 12 months.
“In our submission to the 2022 State Wage Case WACOSS has called on the WA Industrial Relations Commission to increase the state’s minimum wage in line with inflation,” Ms Giolitto said.
“We know that while WA’s economy ranks third in the nation and tops the nation on relative economic growth and unemployment, wages growth remains the lowest in the country at just two per cent.
“Real wages growth has been stagnant for a decade now and today’s increase to the National minimum wage is a welcome compensation for Australia’s lowest-waged workers and demonstrates the need for the minimum wage to outpace inflation.
“Whilst this decision applies to workers employed under the national industrial relations system, Perth experienced the largest increase in the Consumer Price Index of any capital in Australia, recording an annual rise of 7.6% as of May 2022.
“An increase of 5.2% means that for minimum wage workers in WA, their wages are still behind this level of inflation.
“The state minimum wage – which applies to workers who are employed under WA’s state industrial relations system – needs to increase to match this growth in CPI, reflecting the cost pressures being experienced in WA.
“Alongside an increase in real terms to the State minimum wage, WACOSS would like to see adequate indexation offered on government contracts with providers in the Community Services Sector.
“While frontline workers absolutely need a wage rise, we also need to ensure that the provision of critical community services is not put at risk by the State and Federal Governments failing to match the increased cost of providing services to the most vulnerable in our community.”