Amid the cost of living crisis, the Australian union movement has a positive plan to improve the national workplace laws in Australia.
Wages are not keeping pace with cost of living, and it's because our laws are stopping workers - especially in the private sector - from achieving good workplace agreements.
The current system of enterprise bargaining in Australia is more than 30 years old. Only 14% of workers are now covered by an enterprise agreement - and this is trending downwards.
At a national level Australian unions are campaigning for new laws that will allow more workers to be part of a collective agreement that protects and improves their pay and conditions.
We have an opportunity now with a new federal government and an increased focus on wages failing to meet cost of living pressure to fix this crisis by changing our work laws.
It starts with reviewing our bargaining system - if so many workers are not covered by an enterprise agreement, how can with improve wages to keep up with the cost of living increases?
As the Australian Council of Trade Unions says:
"Our jobs and workplaces have changed over the past 30 years and our bargaining system needs to as well.
This is not a new problem and it’s not just caused by the pandemic or overseas conflict. Workers’ wages have been frozen or declining for the last decade.
Next week, unions will be attending the new Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit.
We’ll be taking our positive plan, with common sense proposals to fix collective bargaining, and make it meet the needs of workers, as well as employers."
You can do something today to be part of the solution to fix the wages crisis in Australia - ask your friends, your family and your workmates to become a union member. We know that union members win better outcomes and pay at work than non-union workers and union members drive positive outcomes in our community. Being a union member is your first step on a path to better pay and conditions at work.