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Commission escalates push for low paid workers


The Church's employment relations body stepped up its lobbying for a fair federal minimum wage in a new submission to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission's Safety Net Review.

The Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER) submission follows on from a submission last year, in which it argued that the Commission should conduct an inquiry into the needs of the low paid and review the Federal Minimum Wage.

The 2003 submission also argued that the Commission should establish a benchmark against which the Federal Minimum Wage should be set.

However, in its 2003 decision, while acknowledging the relevance of the questions posed by ACCER, the Commission rejected the ACCER's proposal that an inquiry be conducted into the needs of the low paid.

ACCER's current submission argues that the material now placed before the Commission by the ACTU provides it with evidence to address the matters raised in 2003, and in particular, the needs of the low paid.

"The central issue for the Commission is whether the Federal Minimum Wage is a fair minimum standard in the context of living standards generally prevailing in the Australian community," the submission says.

ACCER's submission argues that the Federal Minimum Wage must provide a standard of living to enable a worker and his or her family to live with dignity.

It supports an increase in the Federal Minimum Wage of $26.60 per week and argues that in any adjustment of other award rates of pay, the primary beneficiaries should be those at the lower paid levels of the award system.

"The claimed increase of $26.60 is a modest first step in the transition to a fair minimum wage as required by the Act," the submission says.

SOURCE
Church body steps up push for fairer deal for low paid workers (Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations 22/2/04)

LINKS
Church group backs union claim (Sunday Telegraph 22/2/04)
Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations | Submission to Safety Net Review
Australian Industrial Relations Commission: Safety Net Review 2004
Australian Industrial Relations Commission: Safety Net Review 2003


23 Feb 2004