Union Briefs

Minimum wages rises $22 a week

Australia's lowest-paid workers will get a $22 a week pay rise after the Fair Work Commission lifted the national minimum wage to $694.90 from July 1.

FWC lifted the wage by 3.3% or 59 cents an hour to $18.29 an hour. Inflation for the year to the end of March was 2.1%. Minimum rates in modern awards will also rise by 3.3%.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus said the rise would not make up for penalty rate cuts affecting 700,000 workers.

The decision will affect up to 2.3 million people reliant on minimum rates of pay.

 

Penalty rates to be phased in

The Fair Work Commission, has ruled that the cuts to penalty rates announced in February for retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy staff will be phased in gradually and will not take full effect until 2019 and 2020.

The first penalty rate cuts of five percentage points will begin next month.

Hospitality union United Voice said the union would be appealing the commission's "unfair" decision to cut Sunday rates at all.

The decision came as it was revealed profits had increased by 40% this year but wages had increased by only 0.9%.

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