State wage decision not good for workers: Greens
Date:Monday, June 11, 2012
The Greens have expressed concern about today’s announcement of an increase of only 3.4 per cent for some of Western Australia’s most poorly paid workers.
The WA Industrial Relations Commission this afternoon announced its decision following the State Wage Case.
While unions had asked for an increase of 7 per cent, the State Government had requested a CPI-only increase of 2.5 per cent, and industry had requested even less than that.
“What West Australians are becoming increasingly aware of is that many within our community are doing it very tough,” said Alison Xamon, Greens spokesperson for Industrial Relations and Communities.
“Talk of a two-speed economy is well acknowledged and it is commonly understood that there are people working full time who are effectively still living in poverty.
“We have witnessed real and unprecedented increases in costs of living, public transport up 6 per cent, food 7 per cent, water 17 per cent, gas 31 per cent and electricity up a whopping 36 per cent. These are not discretionary items, these are basics that people need to live on.
“Yet those people who are working in the most poorly paid areas will now continue to find themselves sliding backwards financially in real terms.
“The mining boom has certainly benefitted some, but there are many for whom the increased costs of living associated with a boom state has been devastating.
“Today’s decision does little to alleviate this burden.
“And in future the State Government needs to recognise that when it intervenes in the State Wage Case, that simply calling for a CPI increase is in no way good enough.
"It is the policies of this State Government which have largely driven up costs and the Government has a responsibility to ensure it is supporting our most vulnerable and disadvantaged workers.”