Churches Welcome Fair Pay Determination

26 October 2006

The Uniting Church today welcomed the first wage decision of the Australian Fair Pay Commission (AFPC).

Uniting Church President, the Reverend Gregor Henderson said the Church had advocated on behalf of the most disadvantaged workers in its submission to the Fair Pay Commission and he was pleased the Commission recognised their needs by ruling an increase of $27.36 per week to the national minimum wage from 1st December.

While this result is positive, it does not mitigate the other detrimental effects of the Government's WorkChoices legislation, nor guarantee that the appropriate considerations will always influence the decisions of the AFPC.

"While we are still deeply concerned about the plight of the low paid workers on individual contracts, we welcome today's decision by the AFPC. The AFPC has acted this time to protect the welfare of low-paid employees and ensure an acceptable living wage.

"The lack of legislative checks and balances on this new method of wage setting will, however, continue to be a concern. We urge the Commission to commit to regularly review the minimum wage and continue to take into account what is necessary for people to ensure that they can provide a decent life for themselves and their families.

"Today is a good news day for our lowest paid workers. We celebrate this but remain convinced that the Government's industrial relations policy unfairly pits vulnerable and low paid workers against employers when it comes time to bargain for pay and conditions," Rev. Henderson said.