Essential workers deserve a greater increase to minimum wage

The HSU is disappointed by the Fair Work Commission’s decision today to apply a very modest 1.75% increase the minimum wage.

While we welcome the fact that the Commission did not adopt employer calls to freeze wages, this decision fails to recognise the sacrifices made by the essential health and community service workers who have kept us safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As stated by Lloyd Williams, National Secretary, Health Services Union

“Our members include some of Australia’s lowest paid workers – age care workers, disability support workers, hospital cleaners and kitchen staff. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic these largely Award-reliant workers have turned up to work to care for us and to keep us safe. They have received applause and thanks from every Australian, from the Prime Minister down. But applause and thanks don’t pay the bills.”

“These workers deserve better pay, the COVID-19 pandemic has made this clear.”

“The HSU is disappointed that the decision only increases the minimum wage by 1.75%, with the inflation rate currently sitting at 2.2% this means that the wages of low paid workers are not growing.”

“It’s a real blow to those workers who have been risking their own health and wellbeing to keep our community safe.”

Download media release

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.