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Cost of living going up: It pays to be a union member

The latest figures continue to underline the need to get wages moving.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicator rose 7% in the year to July and 6.8% to August 2022.

The largest contributors, in the 12 months to August, were wew dwelling construction, up 20.7%, and automotive fuel, up 15.0%. Food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation increased to 9.3%, with prices rising across most food categories, led by fruit and vegetables increasing from 9.1% in June, to 18.6% in August.

At the same time, data published by the Fair Work Commission show that the average annualised wage increase (AAWI) for agreements lodged in the last month was only 3%. While this represents an increase in AAWI, it is well below the CPI rate. This means that real wages continue to decline.

The Fair Work Commission's data releases have also provided strong evidence that the best way to secure a wage increase is to be a member of your union.