boost for workers bought to you by Australian unions

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1.5 million Australian workers will see an $18.70 boost in their pay packets this week and around 8.4 million workers will see their superannuation contributions increase to 9.5% – all hard fought for by Australian workers and their Unions.

“Hardworking Australians deserve decent wages when they’re working and security in retirement,” ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said.

“From today, the minimum wage will increase to $16.87 per hour, or $640.90 per week and the superannuation guarantee will be lifted from 9.25% to 9.5%.

“Workers should keep an eye out to make sure their pay packets reflect these important changes.”

Mr Oliver said that Unions were the only ones who fought to increase the minimum wage.

“Employers didn’t want minimum wages to rise in real terms at all, having sought between no increase at all, up to $10 per week – a real wage cut,” Mr Oliver said.

“The Abbott Government didn’t go into bat for an increase in the minimum wage either, which is unsurprising given they are considering a plan to cut the minimum wage every year for ten years.”

Mr Oliver said that the superannuation guarantee had been due to rise to 12% by 2019 but the Abbott Government had not only put this on ice but is scrapping the valuable low income super contribution (LISC), which means people earning $37,000 or less won’t receive an added contribution to their super accounts.

“This will cut the retirement savings of almost 3.6 million workers, including 2.2 million women – half of Australia’s female workforce,” Mr Oliver said.

“If the Abbott Government succeed in scrapping the LISC, millions of the lowest paid workers in Australia will end up paying more tax on their super contributions than they do on their wages.  They will be the only workers who do.

“It is outrageous that Mr Abbott is happy to leave the superannuation accounts of the highest paid untouched with their 30% tax concessions but is happy to penalise the lowest paid for saving for their retirements.

“Australian Unions won’t stand by “while Mr Abbott attacks the Australian way of life, we’ll fight so hardworking Australians get a fair go.”

The Superannuation Guarantee applies to all employees — across the public sector and private sector, all industries and occupations. It doesn’t matter whether you’re full time, part time or casual, however you do need to be earning $450 or more (before tax) from at least one employer in a month to be eligible.

Workers that already receive more than 9% superannuation from their employer and contractors should contact their union about the specific impact of the SG for them.

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