The manufacturing workers’ union will pay its own officials increases of less than 3 per cent despite a push for wage claims against employers as high as 8 per cent to match the surging cost of living.
Internal documents seen by The Australian Financial Review show the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union’s national council last month endorsed increases for its officials and officers of 2.7 per cent this year or $40 a week, whichever was greater.
It comes as AMWU national secretary Stephen Murphy told The Australian on Monday his union was considering 8 per cent wage claims against employers and warned workers would take industrial action at offers below 3 per cent.
The union justified the internal pay rises, well below the latest Consumer Price Index of 5.1 per cent and coming into effect in October, as reflective of the average pay rise members received from union agreements in the past financial year.
Mr Murphy said that “as a rank-and-file led organisation, the AMWU’s national council is always mindful of where the wages of manufacturing workers are at when making decisions about the salaries of our paid officials”.
“Right now, we’re not seeing pay increases within our industries that are keeping up with productivity improvements or the rising cost of living,” he said.
“Union members would be winning better wages and conditions if we weren’t stuck in a broken bargaining system that upholds the power imbalance we experience between workers and bosses.”
The pay rises cover elected and non-elected officials, organisers and other roles established under union rules and the national council is expected to review their pay again before the end of the financial year.
However, the union could also face further pay pressure from administrative and other staff who are on an enterprise agreement set to expire at the end of the year.
According to its most recent report, the union had 235 employees as of September 2021.
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