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Catholic Employment Commission urges inquiry into needs of low-paid

The Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER) has called for an inquiry into the needs of low-paid employees.

In its submission to the national wage case before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC), the church said there was an urgent need to address the position of low-paid employees who did not receive fair and just wages.

Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER) executive officer John Ryan said the present level of the federal minimum wage was manifestly inadequate and should be reviewed urgently.

He said in past minimum wage hearings ACCER and other organisations had submitted that the AIRC should inquire into the needs of the low-paid and review the federal minimum wage.

ACCER had also previously called on the commission to establish a benchmark against which the federal minimum wage should be set.

"ACCER again presses the need for an inquiry through which an appropriate benchmark can be established," ACCER's submission said.

The ACCER submission said it was underpinned by a long tradition of Catholic social teaching on the employment relationship.

"Since the publication of the Papal encyclical Rerum Novarum in 1891, the Catholic Church has consistently affirmed the dignity of labour and the right of the employee to earn a just wage," it said.

ACCER supports, as an interim measure, the ACTU's call for an increase in the federal minimum wage of $24.60, or 65 cents an hour, thereby moving the minimum wage to $456 or $12 an hour.


Catholic body seeks inquiry into needs of Low Paid Workers (ACCER media release)
Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations
Australian Industrial Relations Commission
Australian Council of Social Service: Submission to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission National Wage Case

12 Mar 2003