NSW Commission calls for $20pw basic pay rise

In its written submission to this year's NSW State Wage Case, the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations has called for an increase of at least $20 in the minimum wage.

The Catholic Weekly reports that commission is calling for an increase in the lowest award classification in NSW from $484.40 to at least $504.80 per week.

Executive director Michael McDonald says such an increase is "necessary to protect the dignity of the most vulnerable workers in our community".

The submission supports a flat increase of at least $20 to the award review classification rate to provide greater assistance to the poor and vulnerable by maintaining the real value of their income.

The submission also says that an increase will lower inequality, which leads to healthier, more cohesive families and communities.

The Catholic Church has a long history of intervention in State wage cases.

"The Church's dual role as employer as well as its ongoing pastoral care of those most marginalised in society provides CCER with a unique perspective in commenting on the need for, and impact of, adjustments to the minimum wage," Mr McDonald said.

Mr McDonald says that increasing the minimum wage by at least $20 will provide modest assistance to these low paid employees.

"All social institutions must be ordered towards the affirmation and realisation of human dignity and the justice of a society should be tested and judged by its treatment of the poor," he said.

The Industrial Relations Commission is expected to hand down its decision in the wage case next month.

Call for $20pw basic pay rise (Catholic Weekly 14/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Cathoilc Commission for Employment Relations (NSW)
Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations
Office of Industrial Relations NSW

Employment body echoes concern on minimum wage (CathNews 27/3/06)

Australian bishops: Hear workers' pleas above din of economic forces (Catholic Online 1/5/06)
Church leaders in U.K. call for 'living wage' reform (Catholic News Agency 2/5/06)
Commission Urges Catholics To Learn About Church Teaching On Work (Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane 28/4/06)
Frank Brennan SJ: On Being Model Employers Who Exemplify Gospel Values and the Church's Mission in the WorkChoices Era (Address to the Australia/New Zealand Conference of Managers of Diocesan Development Funds, St Stephens Cathedral, Brisbane 1/5/06)

11 May 2006