All the latest news and views from the CPSU team

Support, evidence for a real wage rise grows

Last week Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said:
If workers get their normal long-run share of that [productivity increase] then their real wages should rise by 1 per cent a year,” he said. “So 2.5 per cent for inflation plus 1 per cent at least for productivity growth would give 3.5 per cent wage growth, so for me that’s the best steady state.”

This is a very strong statement from the RBA, and a message to employers – government and non-government alike that their refusal to pay real wage rises is hurting all of us.

Meanwhile ABS data showed that Tasmanian public sector wages are falling behind – with private sector wages increasing 2.9% for the three months to December 2018 but public sector wages increasing just 2% by comparison (Examiner, February 21).

ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said:  “Meanwhile, Tasmania remained the state or territory with the lowest average weekly ordinary time earnings for full-time adults at $1,399.50…”.

You told us how you were cutting back:
•    No longer doing big grocery shopping each pay period, just essentials as we need them
•    No longer having a café treat with children once a week
•    Restaurant outings now cut down
•    No longer getting a take-out treat for family on a regular basis
•    New sports shoes have to wait
•    Work week coffees cut
•    Essentials are rising so discretionary spending is dropping.
•    Concerned about the impact of the banking royal commission on loans and rates.
•    Child started year 11 and all their clothes are second hand.
•    Movie sessions cut
•    General weekend trips petrol klms reduced
•    Children have gone to school this year in second hand clothes and  with recycled exercise books from the previous year by tearing out pages where the book wasn’t used much.

When pays don’t keep up with living costs, it doesn’t only hurt workers and families but their communities and local businesses. 

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