2011 Media Releases
Media Release - Ah Wangs come from Townsville
QCU calls on Newman to outline which workplace safety law he plans to cut
The Queensland Council of Unions has called on Campbell Newman to explain how Queensland workers would benefit from cutting back workplace safety laws.Read more: QCU calls on Newman to outline which workplace safety law he plans to cut
Roll out of Charter for Working Queenslanders continues during Townsville week of action
Stolen Wages Claimants Seeking Date for Trial Start
Minimum wage case decision another blow for Government’s 2.5% wages cap
This week’s 3.4% increase in the state minimum wage highlights widespread community concerns about maintaining real wages, a critical issue identified in the Charter for Working Queenslanders.
The State Industrial Relations Commission increased the minimum wage by 3.4% or $22 per week (whichever is the greater) on Wednesday in a decision which endorses the Charter’s aim to ensure real wages keep pace with the increasing cost of living.
Queensland Council of Unions President John Battams welcomed the decision but said it showed the government must review its outdated, inadequate and unfair 2.5% wages policy.
"This policy has now been refuted in a number of forums, both state and federal," he said.
"This minimum wage increase of $22 per week – or 3.4% - is the most significant in a number of years and reflects widespread community concern over real wages falling behind increasing costs.
"The QCU argued that this increase would be good for low paid workers, and for those workers who have no way to collectively bargain and rely on the award system to set their wages," he said.
Last month Queensland police officers successfully argued in the IRC for pay rises of 3.8%, 3.8% and 3.5% over the next three years.
"Significantly, the Commission’s decision remarked that the government’s 2.5% offer ‘would not be enough to maintain real living standards’," Mr Battams said.
"If the Government does not change its 2.5% wages cap policy the police pay case will be the first of many cases to go to the Commission," he said.
"Workers must be allowed to negotiate for increased real wages to cope with the increasing cost of living," he said.
The current cost of living in Queensland is now running at 3.8% annually, according the latest Consumer Price Index.
"The idea of an arbitrary 2.5% cap inhibits fair enterprise bargaining and creates frustration among public sector workers."
Ensuring fair enterprise bargaining is an integral part of the QCU’s Charter for Working Queenslanders, which sets out policy objectives for candidates in the lead-up to the next state election.
"The QCU and unions will be asking for a straight answer from both parties about whether workers will still be able to go to the IRC to argue for decent wage increases.
"This basic industrial right to a decent wage is essential to ensuring Queensland has the best skills and experience in community services, such as education, policing and health," he said.
The QCU’s Charter for Working Queenslanders sets out a positive policy agenda that will benefit more than two million working Queenslanders and their families.
Worker delegations around the state will visit political candidates and party leaders over the next few months to assess their commitment to policies that will benefit workers.
Charter launched for Working Queenslanders
In a Queensland first unions will today take a comprehensive charter of demands to all major party leaders seeking real political action to improve the lives of working Queenslanders.Read more: Charter launched for Working Queenslanders
Business push to water down OHS laws would jeopardise workers’ safety, says QCU
Workers’ Memorial Day is a solemn reminder why Australia’s workplace health and safety laws must not be weakened simply to appease employers, say Queensland unions.Read more: Business push to water down OHS laws would jeopardise workers’ safety, says QCU
QCU reacts cautiously to 457 visa fast-tracking
The Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) has reacted cautiously to today’s federal government announcement fast-tracking 457 visa applications to address labour shortages for flood reconstruction work.Read more: QCU reacts cautiously to 457 visa fast-tracking
Unions join forces to assist flood victims
Unions have banded together to help victims of the Queensland floods, providing thousands of hours of volunteer labour and significant financial assistance, according to the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU).Read more: Unions join forces to assist flood victims
QCU calls for private sector employers to lend flood victims a hand
The Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) is calling on employers in flood-affected areas to provide paid leave to allow workers time to clean up and rebuild after flood waters recede.Read more: QCU calls for private sector employers to lend flood victims a hand
Contact the QCU
Email the QCU or telephone on 07 3846 2468.