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2002 Safety Net Wage decision.

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Media Release

Minister Tony Abbott

Department of Employment and Workplace Relations

9/05/2002 02802

2002 Safety Net Wage decision

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission today delivered its decision in the 2002 Safety Net Wage Case.

The Commission granted an increase to the Federal Minimum Wage of $18 per week to $431.40 per week, an increase of 4.4 per cent. All minimum award rates will also increase by $18.00 per week.

The AIRC rejected the ACTU’s claim for a $25 increase - a claim which was supported by the Labor State and Territory Governments.

Parties may apply for the increase under this decision on an award-by-award basis. The increase can be offset against any existing above award payments.

This increase for award reliant employees has been made possible by the underlying strength of the Australian economy.

In determining an $18 per week increase, the Commission has acknowledged the point made in the Federal Government’s submission that large pay increases threaten the jobs and employment prospects of lower paid employees and unemployed people.

Over the life of the Coalition Government, the lowest paid workers have now received safety net increases of $82.00, or 7.9 per cent in real terms. That contrasts markedly with the 14.9 per cent reduction in real average award rates and the 5 per cent reduction in the lowest award rates that occurred under the previous 13 years of Labor Government.

Today’s decision, if translated into the State workplace relations systems, will apply to about 23 per cent of all Australian employees.

The decision is available on the AIRC web site

For media inquiries, contact

Simone Holzapfel 0417 656 668