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Unions welcome 3 per cent boost in state wage case decision

Queensland Unions have welcomed a state wage case decision for a three per cent pay rise reflecting widespread calls to lift wages to boost Australia’s flagging economy.

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission has ruled that all rates of pay in modern state awards should increase by three per cent.

The new rate will come into operation from 1 September 2019.

This decision also keeps pace with the national Fair Work Commission’s decision in May to award a three per cent lift to the minimum wage in the federal jurisdiction.

Queensland Council of Unions Acting General Secretary Michael Clifford said it was clear that workers needed a pay rise.

“We know that wage stagnation is a massive problem,” he said.

The Reserve Bank today downgraded its forecast for future wage growth from 2.6 per cent to 2.3 per cent into 2022, while the last federal Coalition budget had factored in unrealistic wages growth of 3.25 per cent per annum.

“These new figures show how the federal government just does not understand the wage growth crisis for workers struggling with the cost of living,” said Mr Clifford.

Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade figures show national turnover rose just 0.2 per cent in September 2019, seasonally adjusted, despite the Morrison government tax cuts being promoted as stimulating economic activity.

In Queensland there was just a 0.1 per cent rise in retail turnover, on seasonally adjusted terms.

“Low wages growth is hurting working people and their families and it is also hurting our economy as people aren’t spending.”