The Fair Pay Commission has got it right on the issue of the minimum wage.
I am sure I don’t have to tell you that it is still a pretty difficult operating environment out there. It is just as well that the Australian Fair Pay Commission handed down a zero increase to minimum wages in their annual review.
Restaurant & Catering Australia argued, in submission and in person before the Commission, that there should be no increase. That was an important battle to win. Some employer groups (like the Australian Industry Group) wanted to argue for an eight to nine dollar increase.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions argued for a $25 increase and, since the decision, has continued to argue for an increase, suggesting that the zero increase is a ‘real reduction in wages’. This is clearly wrong. The $27 increase in 2008, and two tax cuts increasing take home pay by some $60, means minimum wages should be frozen for three years to compensate for increases in pay for minimum wage earners.
The Association is continuing to put an employer view to counter the ACTU (and LMMU) accusation that lower paid workers are getting a wage cut. I am firmly of the view that the AFPC got it right and that our argument helped them get there. We are determined to ensure that all our nation’s restaurants, cafes and caterers have the best chance of riding out this current financial challenge.
President, Restaurant & Catering Australia