9 in 10 workers want government help to boost wages

Changing laws to make collective bargaining easier also popular: survey

9 in 10 workers want government help to boost wages

A majority of Australians (68 per cent) say that their wages have not kept up with the cost of living over the past 12 months.

So what’s the solution? Nine in 10 (87 per cent) say “it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that real wages grow to keep up with the cost of living,” according to a survey by the Australia Institute.

“This research shows most Australians feel like they are falling behind and almost everyone believes it’s the Government job to do what it can to ensure wages keep up with the cost of living,” says Greg Jericho, labor market & fiscal policy director at the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work.

A growing number of workers want immediate access to their wages the day after each day worked, according to a separate survey.

4 options for improvement

When asked about the most effective ways to get wages moving, out of four options, “strengthening government regulation on wage setting” came in on top, with 73 per cent of respondents in favour of this approach, finds the survey by the Australia Institute.

Second on the list was “changing laws to make it easier for workers to bargain collectively” (66 per cent), followed by “labour market forces” (62 per cent).

““Working Australians know that the current industrial relations system needs a stronger safety net and a greater ability for workers to bargain for better wages,” says Jericho.

Further down as an option (46 per cent) was “working harder personally at one’s job,” finds the survey.

 

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