A new report released by ACTU argues that the average Australian worker has been cheated out of $10,000 over the past decade because wages haven’t kept up with productivity gains.
Although workers had become 10.3% more productive during the Coalition’s time in government, the fruits of their labour ended up as company profits instead of increasing salaries. ACTU claimed this was a deliberate outcome of the government’s economic policies.
The report said productivity had grown six times faster than real private sector wages, which increased by 1.6%. But Australians had lost out on nearly $2000 so far in 2022.
The same workers would be earning another $74 per week in today’s wages if salaries had reflected increases in productivity since 2013 when the Coalition came to power. These startling figures recently hit 5.1% after inflation, dwarfing wage growth that sits at 2.3%. They would have pocketed $3868 in the last 12 months alone if wages had kept up with productivity growth.
The Coalition has engaged in several actions to exacerbate this problem: promoting insecure work, opposing real wage rises in the annual wage review, capping public sector pay rises, and failing to plug the gender wage gap. Additionally, it had “allowed wage theft,” used legal “loopholes” to circumvent enterprise bargaining agreements and tried to remove the better off overall test – or BOOT – in collective bargaining.
“Every time workers have tried to get pay increases, whether it be the annual wage review, aged care workers or their workers, this government has acted to keep wage growth down,” she said. Scott Morrison refuses to do the work to close the loopholes that have seen the continual growth of insecure work. This has significantly impacted workers’ bargaining power,” said Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary.