ACTU urges 2.3 million Aussies working under awards to check pay slips to ensure they’ve got their 3.5 per cent pay rise
ACTU urges 2.3 million Aussies working under awards to check pay slips to ensure they’ve got their 3.5 per cent pay rise

Check your pay slip ‘very carefully’ this month

IF YOU are one of the 2.3 million Australians working under an award, you should check your most recent pay slip to make sure you're not being ripped off.

That's the advice of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), which is urging working Australians to be vigilant following the introduction of a 3.5 per cent pay rise on July 1.

Under the new rules, all awards should have increased by 3.5 per cent.

The new minimum hourly rate has also risen to $18.93 per hour, and $23.66 per hour for casual workers - although that figure will be far higher in many industries.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus said everyone working under an award should keep their eyes peeled over the next few pay periods to ensure they are getting their full entitlements.

"Our message for the 2.3 million people working under awards today is to check your pay slip very carefully," she said.

"Anyone working under an award should get a 3.5 per cent pay rise that working people won through their unions.

"This is a first important step towards restoring a living wage for all working people."

But many have argued the 3.5 per cent pay boost would do little to ensure a liveable wage for many workers.

However, Ms McManus said the welcome pay rise also coincided with controversial changes to penalty rates, which also came into force last Sunday.

Those changes affect around 700,000 workers in the retail, hospitality and pharmacy industries, whose Sunday penalties have now been slashed by either 10 or 15 per cent, depending on the industry.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten claimed that some workers would be "$3200 worse off" per year as a result of the cuts, and vowed to reverse them "within 100 days" of an ALP victory at the next federal election, which must take place on or before May 18, 2019.

Ms McManus said the ACTU was fighting for new rules so "all working Australians - whether they work under awards or on agreements, can get the pay rises they need to pay for the basics of life".

"The Turnbull Government has presided over wage cuts and growth in insecure work while splashing tax cuts around for corporations and those earning over $200,000 per year," she said.

"Their trickle-down model has failed.

"Unions want to get you a pay rise. Malcolm Turnbull's government stands for pay cuts for everyone except big business and the very rich."

Ms McManus said workers who haven't received their pay rise should contact their union or call the ACTU on 1300 486 466.