There is no doubt that many employers are doing it pretty tough at the moment with the impacts of Covid-19 taking a toll on the profits of businesses around the state.
Many are now looking at ways to save costs to ensure the ongoing viability of services. This has unfortunately seen a push for wage stagnation with many organisations attempting to freeze the wages of their employees as a cost-saving measure.
Looking at our coverage in Local Government, for example, there are 16 councils who we are expecting to pass on a wage increase this year in the range of 1.75% – 3.4%.
However, there are just two Tasmanian councils with agreements reaching their expiry who have offered a wage increase to employees and there are at least ten councils in the same situation who have proposed a formal wage freeze.
There was even one council who chose to seek a variation to an existing agreement to cancel the wage increase, which was agreed to apply this year.
However, they failed to secure employee support when it went out to a vote and must pass on the agreed increase.
A wage increase is vitally important to help employees go some of the ways of keeping up with the rise in the cost of living (up by 3.4% in the latest CPI figures for Tasmania).
Further, ensuring low and middle-income workers have the disposable income to spend in the economy is key to economic recovery.
Employees are any business’ single greatest asset, and the ASU will continue to stand up for fair pay rises.